Creative marching

Army veteran Jeffrey Peck at this year’s Women’s March in Sacramento.

Army veteran Jeffrey Peck at this year’s Women’s March in Sacramento.

Photo by Kate Gonzales

There is no end to the ways Americans are expressing their frustrations.

Saturday’s Women’s March drew an estimated 36,000 participants in Sacramento, and it had no shortage of expression. People chanted as they walked from Southside Park to the Capitol Saturday morning: “What do we want? DACA. When do we want it? Now!” and “My body, my choice” rose from the tight crowd.

And of course, there were posters—some repped identity, others supported policies and plenty hated on Trump. The unofficial award for most popular sign went to Rick Adams of Fair Oaks, whose words, “Trump’s no pussy… he lacks the depth and the warmth” earned him plenty of protest selfies.

Sacramento artist Ianna Frisby greeted marchers dressed in an inflated dinosaur costume with the simple sign, “Time to evolve.”

Many pink pussy hats returned, a throwback from the inaugural Women’s March that has been criticized for not including trans folks and people of color in feminism.

Funny signs and third-wave adornments aside, others struck a more serious tone.

Jeff Peck, a retired Elk Grove veteran, was dressed in his U.S. Army uniform holding his sign, “Amnesty and citizenship for all undocumented immigrants #DACA.” He said he’d hoped his uniform would add legitimacy to his stance. Protestors occasionally stopped to thank him for his service.

Cienna Silvia, a 19-year-old first-time attendee of the Women’s March, came out to represent women of color.

“I don’t see a lot of signs out here supporting not just dreamers but especially black women,” she said. As a black and Filipino woman, “I wanted to be a voice for that.”

At noon, the crowd convened at the west steps of the State Capitol for a rally. Among the speakers was Adama Iwu, a lobbyist who has led the challenge to sexual harassment in politics and was recognized as one of Time Magazine’s Silence Breakers. A line of folks in the audience held black banners with two catchphrases from the movement to hold powerful men accountable for sexual misconduct: “Me Too” and “Time’s Up.”

Just beneath those banners, a woman sat on the sidewalk with her interactive art display. A long, white sheet of paper was taped to the ground, a few black sharpies made available. At the top was the header, “Expose Your Local Rapist!”

“There are so many systems in place to keep people who do this where they are,” said the woman, who declined to give her name. Her intent is to break the silence among survivors like herself and possibly protect others. “This is the worst art project I’ve done. Every name fucking hurts.”

As the rally proceeded, the sheet filled up with more names—a dozen, two dozen and counting. Some people looked at the names in silence, others thanked the artist.

Matt Fulton, who attended with his wife and three daughters, stopped to look at the display.

“I’m sure there are probably hundreds of people here, too, who could put a name down,” he said. “I would hope my daughters never have the need to do something like this.”