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SLO Women's March leaders prep for upcoming rally, this year's theme: "The time is now"

Posted at 7:20 AM, Jan 08, 2020

A familiar rally cry will echo through downtown San Luis Obispo in 10 days as protesters march through the streets, demanding social change during the fourth annual Women's March.

The event, which first started in Washington DC on Jan. 21, 2017, is now carried out in over 380 cities around the globe. That includes marches in San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, and Santa Barbara.

"The time is now" is the theme this year's event, which takes place Jan. 18.

"The wave of hatred - from antisemitism to anti-Muslim to anti-LGBTQ, it just seems we need to realize now is the time to change that because if we don't step up now, it may be too late," Women's March SLO Lead Organizer Andrea Chmelik said. "The time is now to save the environment, the time is now to speak up for immigrant rights, the time is now to speak up for women's right, reproductive justice. So we are hoping this something a lot of people can come together."

Cal Poly Psychology and Child Development Lecturer Kendra Williams is one of the main speakers this year. She advocates for survivors of sexual assault and harassment.

Climate justice organizer and Cuesta College student Carmen Bouquin is also slated to speak.

Wendy Lucas, a Chumash Tribal member, also plans to address the crowd.

In addition to the speakers, several performers are on the schedule, along with 30 nonprofits.

The San Luis Obispo march kicks off at Mitchell Park at 10 a.m.

The rally in Santa Maria takes place at 10 a.m. at Minami Park and the Santa Barbara Rally will be held at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens at 1 p.m.