As one rain-soaked sign summarized the scene, it was a "Nasty Day for The Nasty Women." But cold, wet weather didn't deter the estimated 100,000 or more people who gathered in San Francisco this afternoon to march through puddles and into the evening in one of hundreds of Women's Marches held across the nation.
The official attendance estimate for the San Francisco march comes from CBS 5, a number far exceeding the 60,000 attendees organizers told SFist they were expecting earlier this week. In fact, the figure rivals the largest local march in recent history, held 14 years ago in protest of the Iraq war.
Unreal. San Francisco women's march. pic.twitter.com/YLcMrdaxQi— Michael Farrell (@mikefarrell) January 22, 2017
"Just wow" glowed Martha Shaughnessy, one of today's organizers and the communications director for the network of Bay Area Women's Marches. From her perch at Fifth Street at just before 7 p.m., Shaughnessy said she saw no end sight to the parade of supporters.
I just shouted emperor norton for president. He replied with a scoff "it's beneath me" pic.twitter.com/BJ2HB4Vnfm— Caleb 🗽 Pershan (@calaesthetic) January 22, 2017
The gathering was one of six "sister marches" in the Bay Area, with two other large-scale events in San Jose and Oakland. The San Jose march, which began at 10 a.m. at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez, drew an estimated 25,000 attendees according to CBS 5. Per the East Bay Express, Oakland's march drew somewhere from 60,000 to 80,000 participants.
Earlier in the day, more than one million people joined Women's Marches across the nation and beyond. The crowd in Washington, DC exceeded estimates by such a large margin that organizers were forced to alter its route, as our sister website DCist reported, while organizers of the Los Angeles Women's March told the LA Times that roughly 750,000 people had attended. The New York City Mayor's office told the NY Times that about 400,000 people attended a march there.
San Francisco police say there were no arrests made related to the Women's March. While marches elsewhere were more star-studded, notable politicians and business leaders in attendance here included House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.
There is love everywhere. pic.twitter.com/qLZmbhiJMf— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) January 22, 2017
City Hall even looked the part for the occasion: Known for its colorful lighting on holidays like Christmas (red and green), Independence Day (red, white, and blue), and big Giants' wins (orange), the building was lit up pink for today's march. "This sums it up: Young folks in front of a City Hall lit up pink, bringing lights into the darkness," said Shaughnessy. "[And] this is just the beginning."
SF city hall 💗 pic.twitter.com/e9gUBULzCM— Karen (@karen_m_poole) January 22, 2017