Protesters marched through San Francisco’s sun-soaked streets Saturday afternoon, chanting against the Trump administration.
The march, which stretched from Civic Center down Market Street into the heart of the Mission District, yielded calls for President Trump’s immediate impeachment and declared the current federal administration racist and fascist.
Marching down Valencia Street, some two hundred demonstrators cried “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!” — a call often heard at recent Bay Area protests.
Terrance Kayton, 34, an artist from Hayward, California, said he marched for freedom he believes he does not have under the Trump administration. Kayton, a transgender black man who served in the U.S. Navy, said he served in the military for his freedom but as a civilian feels he:
“… still has chains on… [and] is out here to release those chains.”
Kayton said he thought that the protest could help “wake us up” and be more motivated to protest and resist the Trump administration.
Related marches held in cities across the nation Saturday were coordinated by Refuse Fascism, an organization that works to remove the Trump administration from office. The group labels the current federal administration as a regime.
Barry Thornton told SFBay that he volunteers with the group because of attacks against minority populations:
“The Trump-Pence regime must go. … Nothing short of that will actually put an end to the kinds of things they’re doing.”
Thornton said that he wants to see a national movement with millions of participants work to remove Trump from power, drawing similarities to the demonstrations in South Korea that helped impeach former president Park Geun-hye.
Before the march, a rally was held at the UN Plaza. His voice booming from a heavily-amplified microphone, Rafael Kadaris, a representative of Refuse Fascism, told the crowd:
“We refuse to be intimidated; we refuse to back down,”
Speakers spoke out against the Trump administration and about historic struggles of minorities, people of color and LGBTQ people.
Alex Morrison, a drag king and producer from Berkeley, California, expressed frustration with states drafting anti-queer legislation. Morrison, a grand marshal at the 2017 LGBTQ Pride parade, also pointed out the lack of black representation within the protest:
“How many black brothers and sisters do you see here? You can count on one fucking hand. This needs to change.”
Sharif Zakout, a San Francisco native whose father is from Gaza, spoke on his conflict with San Francisco’s policy on immigration:
“I was born here. What does ‘sanctuary city’ mean if I can’t even afford to live here?”
Zakout connected struggles from his life with issues faced by people around the world:
“My family was displaced from their indigenous homeland in Palestine. … and so what I see happening to people in Standing Rock [North Dakota], what I see happening to people in my own community, I understand there are these connections happening all around.”
A protest march followed the nearly 1-1/2 hour rally, with groups leading various chants against the incumbent administration:
“We need to rise, resist, unite.”
“Seize the time, seize the hour. Drive these fascists out of power”
“In the name of humanity, stop the insanity.”