Tens of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets around the Bay Area over the next few days in protest of Donald Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States.
Starting today and running through Saturday, multiple marches, protests and gatherings will take place in Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, Vallejo and Walnut Creek, among other places.
The first of many events will kick off today at 4:30 p.m. in Oakland at the federal building on Clay Street and will end up in front of City Hall at Frank Ogawa Plaza.
Dubbed an “interfaith/multiracial” march to resist Trump’s policies, it is organized by Oakland Community Organizations, which describes itself as a nonpartisan social justice group of congregations, schools and allied organizations.
Perhaps the largest and most well-known events are those planned to coincide with the Women’s March on Washington, which takes place on Saturday in the nation’s capital in the wake of Trump’s inaugural event on Friday.
The Bay Area Women’s March events will start on Saturday with rallies at 10 a.m. at both Oakland’s Madison Park and San Jose City Hall, and at 3 p.m. at San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza.
In San Francisco, a candlelight march to Justin Herman Plaza will follow the rally. In Oakland, the post-rally march will proceed to Frank Ogawa Plaza and in San Jose it will end up at Cesar Chavez Plaza.
Women’s March events are also planned for Saturday at Vallejo’s Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve at 5 p.m. and at Walnut Creek’s Civic Park at 10 a.m.
Organizers said in a statement:
“The Women’s March is a national movement to unify and empower everyone who stands for women’s rights, human rights, civil liberties, and social justice for all.”
Also, in a bit of coincidental timing, an anti-abortion group has long planned its annual “Walk for Life West Coast” for 12:30 p.m. Saturday at San Francisco’s Civic Center, followed by a march down Market Street to Justin Herman Plaza.
Counter-protesters, many of whom are also expected to join the Women’s March later in the day, plan to line Market Street as thousands of Walk For Life participants make their way toward the Embarcadero.
On Friday at 9 a.m., an event described by organizers as a “day of demonstrations to call out Trump supporters” is planned to start at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco.
Participants will then march though the downtown area, “stopping at companies which support Trump’s hate-fueled agenda,” and ultimately ending up in front of 555 California St., where there will be speakers and a children’s march, organizers said.
Organizer Beth Trimarco said:
“While the Bay Area may have trumped Trump at the polls, there are numerous Bay Area companies and individuals who not only have supported him, but who are his nominees and appointees. … That’s what we’re going to be protesting tomorrow — those people and those companies.”
Separate rallies are planned for Friday at 11:30 a.m. at San Francisco General Hospital and at 5 p.m. at Civic Center Plaza.
Also in San Francisco on Friday, Filipinos Against Trump and associated groups will gather with supporters at 5 p.m. on the steps of the Asian Art Museum to:
“… fight against racism, bigotry, sexism, Islamaphobia, anti-immigrant policies and economic injustice.”
At 10 a.m. on Friday, the Golden Gate Bridge will host 3,000 purple-clad demonstrators who intend to link arms and form a human chain that will stretch from Marin County to San Francisco along the pedestrian walkway.
A statement from organizers Bridge Together Golden Gate said:
“We will stand together in unity and love as a shining beacon of inclusiveness and democracy to prove that we are stronger together, that love trumps hate, and that the hateful rhetoric of the incoming president and his administration will not be tolerated.”
In San Jose, a Friday rally and march are planned to start at 11 a.m. at Cesar Chavez Plaza.
Participants are expected to surround the federal building by noon and then end up with another rally at San Jose City Hall at 1 p.m.
Across the region, cities are bracing for the potential fallout from the events, mostly billed as peaceful.
San Francisco police spokeswoman Officer Giselle Talkoff said:
“Our jobs is to protect the marchers and make sure they are safe, as well as the general public. … People have the right to exercise their freedom of speech, we just want to make sure that things go off without a hitch.”
Police are urging people to report any unlawful or dangerous activities during the marches and rallies and to check traffic and transit conditions before heading to any of the events.
BART is ramping up for the events and plans to run longer trains on Friday and Saturday and will add more station agents, technicians and police officers to cope with the crowds.
Not all events surrounding Trump’s inauguration are protests, however.
In celebration of the day, the San Francisco Log Cabin Republicans plan a potluck dinner and the Sonoma County Republican Party is hosting an inaugural ball at 6:30 p.m. at the Flamingo Conference Center in Santa Rosa on Friday.