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Thousands take to SLO and Santa Maria for annual Women's March

The rally took place from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Posted at 7:16 PM, Jan 18, 2020

Saturday morning, thousands showed up to participate in the fourth annual nationwide Women's March. Local cities on the Central Coast hosted big crowds as well.

In San Luis Obispo, the opening ceremony at Mitchell Park took place at 10 a.m. followed by the march at 11 a.m. Some streets around Mitchell Park were closed during the march, with additional law enforcement around to patrol the area.

"Our aim is to have a peaceful march and have it be a good place for people to be," said Pat Harris, one of the organizers for the march.

Among the issues discussed were environmental justice, Black Lives Matter, women's rights and LGBTQIA rights.

The theme of this year's march was "The Time is Now," which focuses on encouraging everyone around the country to show up at the polls this November.

“We all believe in democracy, we are at risk for losing that and I’m here to say I am proud to stand among these thousands and thousands of women,” said Susan Devine, a participant at the rally.

One participant, Kendra Williams, a marriage and family therapist and lecturer for the Department of Psychology and Child Development at Cal Poly, spoke about her experience with sexual assault and the differences she hopes to see in the future.

"I am not okay with the standards in which my assault was handled. In 2020, I will be using my voice and position to bring attention and change to the systematic injustices to sexual violence and harassment," said Williams.

San Luis Obispo was not the only rally happening. Santa Maria also held its 2nd annual Women's March Saturday.

The rally took place at Minami Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The theme for Santa Maria was “Because We Refuse to be Silenced."

Among those in attendance were Congressman Salud Carbajal, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino, and Santa Maria City Council member Gloria Soto.