By Doug Porter
Organizers of the North County San Diego Women’s March believed. As part of a nationwide effort of ‘Sister Marches’ to the Washington DC Women’s March, they created a local event for those who wouldn’t be able to attend other events due to reasons such as immigration status, transportation issues, or poverty.
North County San Diego has in the past not been very friendly for demonstrations or political activism with a progressive bent, but things are changing. Down ballot elected positions are becoming more diverse. The once invincible Congressman Darrell Issa had to struggle to get reelected this year, and challenger Doug Applegate is already building a campaign for 2018.
Organizers for the event, which started at San Marcos City Hall and ended at Palomar College, hoped for 2500 attendees. Heavy rains the day before and showers predicted for the day of the event didn’t dissuade them. Their faith was rewarded.
From the Escondido Grapevine:
A few early sprinkles and the unexpected numbers did nothing to dampen the mood at the free-wheeling people’s parade. Far exceeding expectations, the thousands of marchers overflowed Mission Avenue sidewalks spilling into half of the normally traffic-beset roadway.
Fortunately, motorists were wholeheartedly sympathetic with any honking horns and waving to the marchers. Sheriff’s deputies stood along the 1.7-mile route with no incidents or arrests reported.
Some estimates of the crowd indicate there were 10,000 people expressing their opinions in support of women’s rights and a host of related causes.
From the Union-Tribune coverage:
Wives Deborah Dulaney and Diane McGee held hands as they walked. A couple since 1996 and married since 2013, they said they are passionate activists spurred by hope and pride. But their participation in Saturday’s march, they said, was motivated by fear.
“When Gore lost to Bush, I was disappointed because my party lost,” Dulaney said. “When Kerry lost to Bush, again, I felt bad for my party. But when Trump won, I feel like our whole nation lost.”
The march ended in a Palomar College parking lot, and as the throng surrounded a makeshift stage, 80-year-old Watson and her 50-year-old daughter, who live in Carlsbad, stood on the edges. They held a hand-drawn sign that read “Sorry World. We’re working on it!”.
“I wanted to be a part of this movement,” Watson said.
“People are awake,” daughter Rosemary Watson added. “We have Trump to thank for that.”
Make no mistake about it. If it wasn’t for Donald Trump, this march never would have happened. His campaign made people afraid. His proposed administration gives substance to those fears.
NBC7 reported on 50 people who put together a mini-march at the Seacrest Retirement Center.
The march was brief: just two laps inside the center. But it was a meaningful statement they hope will reach far beyond the Seacrest Village.
“It’s really inspirational to see women in their 80s and 90s organizing to make a difference,” Carly Stockdale, who flew to San Diego to march with her mother and grandmother instead of attending the New York demonstration, says. “This might have been much more meaningful in many ways.”
A national tracking effort also reported 150 people participated in a march in Borrego Springs, California.
There’s another side of this phenomena, involving the Democratic party. Throughout California, supporters of Bernie Sanders made significant inroads earlier in January toward taking over the largest Democratic Party organization outside of Washington, D.C. Turnout for delegates representing assembly districts to the statewide Democratic convention set news records throughout the region.
Change is in the air. And it’s bi-partisan change.