Stockton in solidarity

Marchers walk down El Dorado Street in Stockton for the Women’s March. Photos by Williams H. Mitchell III

The first Stockton Women’s March welcomed advocates  on Jan. 19 with a path from Eden Park to Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza in downtown. 

Last year the movement got some negative feedback for lacking diversity.

“There is a lot of diversity within the younger women’s task force and I know that they’ve been doing a lot of work with the Owl Movement (Women’s March coordinators), so I’m not sure exactly how diversity is within that. I believe it would be, im expecting diversity to turn out,” said Britney Marquez, Delta’s RTV Multimedia Lab Tech, who also served as DJ for the event.

Marquez  was involved in the march for the community and was glad to be part of one so close to home.  

Behind all of the cell phone cameras and social media posts were great messages from members of the Owl Movement, healthcare activists and children.

“They wanted to make signs. I had to explain to him what (feminism) meant,” said Veronica Munoz, who marched with her four children. 

While the march was intended to empower women, all types of people walked in solidarity. Signs were held for a broad range of topics from gender equality to Black Lives Matter. 

The Stockton consciousness was wide awake for the mid-morning march.

“I’m here for women’s rights at the forefront. We went to Sacramento last year, it’s exciting to be here,” said Susan Bartman, who attended with Delta Professor Kathleen McKilligan and marched in matching sweaters that read “RESIST” as well as “SISTER” when they walked together.

“The number one thing is to be supportive of Stockton and march for equal rights,” said Crystal Downs, the “I” of the bunch. McKilligan and her “golfing buddies” were seen at the head of the march leading the way with color.

Couple Susan and Ernie Arnette took the gathering as an opportunity to get petitions for transparent legislation in local government.

In King Plaza booths for small businesses, Delta’s Pride Center and more greeted marchers.

The organizers spoke highly of the men who marched that morning, thanking them for the support. Native American prayers were said directly before the march, blessing the land.