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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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Women’s March attendees on State Street advocate for women’s rights

Claire Geriak
Community members in Santa Barbara march down State St. advocating for women’s rights on Jan. 20 in Santa Barbara, Calif. Participants brought both homemade signs and posters from Planned Parenthood reading “Abortion is Health Care” and “a woman’s place is in the resistance.”

On a cold and rainy night, a few dozen protesters gathered Jan. 20 at De La Guerra Plaza in Santa Barbara for the annual Women’s March. 

The Women’s March is a worldwide event which began in the year 2017 after former President Donald Trump’s inauguration and has continued up until the present day. The organizers’ goal is to give “political power” to “diverse women,” according to their vision which is stated on their website. Ending white supremacy, rethinking democracy, and promoting feminist economies are additional goals of the group. Outside of marches, the organization also conducts speakouts and forums in relation to feminism. 

Many speakers stood in front of the crowd that congregated in order to spread their pro-choice and feminist messages across to the public. Among these included former state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson who sent cheers and clapping throughout the mass of people as she began to speak. She pushed for anyone who is able to register to vote if they have not already and highlighted the importance of the upcoming elections. 

“We must unite, we must mobilize, and we must act. If we do not, our rights are in further jeopardy and our democracy will potentially end,” Jackson said. 

Current state Sen. Monique Limón was invited next by Jackson to speak. This was her eighth women’s march that she has attended.  

“Rain or shine, daylight or nighttime, in all conditions we are ready to stand, we are ready to talk about the issues that matter and we are going to show up,” Limón said. 

Assemblymember Gregg Hart made an appearance as well as Kavya Suresh, a student at San Marcos High School. Suresh spoke in regards to the hardships she faces in today’s society as a “queer woman of color.”

“This upcoming election is critical in determining our future as a democracy, as a society, and as people as a whole,” Suresh said. “I urge you to find your passion and your voice and harness that power to push our world one step further to success.” 

The crowd swelled as artificial candles and bright pink signs that read “abortion is health care” were passed among those who showed. People were encouraged to turn on the candles and keep them lit during the march and while listening to the speeches that were held. 

Once the last speaker stepped off the podium, the group lined up and began to stride throughout State Street while yelling many different chants. Visitors to downtown applauded and high-fived the marchers as they walked by.

“It doesn’t have to subtract from your life to add to the rights of other people,” James Kyriaco, Santa Barbara District 2 city councilmember who attended the event, said.


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