A Day Without a Woman rallies unite thousands in Bay Area and beyond – SFGate

Some events were organized by leaders of the marches in January, others by leaders of the more radical International Women’s Strike, but the message was the same: demanding an end to gender discrimination of all kinds at a time when many women feel under attack by the Trump administration. “There’s empty desks and phones ringing off the hook today, and we don’t care because we are here,” Elizabeth Lanyon, who works at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told a crowd of more than a thousand people that gathered on the steps of San Francisco City Hall in the late morning. In the Bay Area, the rallies in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland and San Jose were called International Women’s Strike, A Day Without a Woman, or Gender Strike. Though President Trump was a focus of much of the anger for his actions — including his talk of stripping money from Planned Parenthood because it provides abortions, and his appointment of mostly men to his Cabinet — organizers said the issue was larger than the president. There are no days without women, and these issues go far beyond whoever is president,” said Andrea Morell, 77, of Oakland, who carried a sign at the San Francisco protest reading “Defend abortion rights. Just take abortion rights, for one — they should be under the 14th Amendment, she said, referring to the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law for all citizens. The mood in front of City Hall was festive, with balloons and flags waving, people doing yoga on the lawn and lots of happy chatter among a mixed crowd of many races and ages. “Women in this country have been energized as never before,” said Julie Wertz, 55, who took time off her graphic design job to raise money for Planned Parenthood at the rally. At UC Berkeley in the late morning, a couple hundred women of all ages — students, professors, campus workers, Berkeley residents — stood in lower Sproul Plaza holding signs with slogans like “We are not your maids” and “Hands off our bodies.” The San Francisco City Hall gathering was followed in the afternoon by a Gender Strike at Justin Herman Plaza, where hundreds massed before marching to nearby federal immigration offices to rail against Trump’s effort to step up deportations of people who are in the country without permission.

Source: A Day Without a Woman rallies unite thousands in Bay Area and beyond – SFGate

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