The fourth annual Women’s March brought hundreds of people to De la Guerra Plaza on Saturday, as local residents rallied and marched in support of America’s democracy while also denouncing President Donald Trump.
Participants held signs in support of racial and sexual inclusion, women in politics and equal rights, while many others used the event to call for change in the nation’s capital.
“It’s time for women to get the vote out this year and we all need to remind ourselves how crucial it is,” said Santa Barbara resident Chris Lang, who told the News-Press that she’s been participating in women’s marches since the very beginning.
“We need to get out and we need to get ourselves strong,” she said as she marched down State Street. “Our young and our old, our men and our women, need to be together on this. We need to grab this country back and give it back to the people.”
Eli Diaz, a second year student at UCSB, said he felt that 2020 is an important year for people to voice their political opinions with the presidential election just 10 months away.
“I hope that this inspires a lot of people to go out and vote and take out Donald Trump from office,” he said.
James Vollaro made the trip down from Buellton to show his community support. He also stressed the importance of having people participate in the upcoming election.
“I’m hoping that this will stir people to register to vote,” he said.
UCSB graduates Jack Weber and Lulu Erkeneff stumbled upon the rally while downtown. Mr. Weber said he was participating to show his support for women and all the people he loves.
Ms. Erkeneff said she was walking home from work and noticed people gathering and decided to join in. She told the News-Press that events like the one held Saturday are important because they aim to bring about positive change.
“We were walking with a 78-year-old woman who has been doing this for 50 years,” she said. “If someone with arthritis is still holding signs up, we just need to be doing more.
“I hope that we don’t need to be going on marches next year or the year after, but I think as long as people see issues with how our government treats women and how our society treats women and societies across the globe treat women, people are going to be marching,” she said.
Zoanne Summers, of Santa Barbara, has also been a long-time participant in women’s marches over the years. She was among the masses Saturday afternoon to protect the country’s democracy.
“We have to keep the democracy and everybody’s got to get involved to keep it,” Ms. Summers said. “It doesn’t just happen by itself.
“We the people — we, you and I — are in charge, not Washington. It shows that we feel our democracy is worth fighting for, or worth being a champion for.”