Local activists in Ventura and Oxnard will march in response to Donald Trump’s inauguration, with one march on the day after he gets sworn in as the 45th President of the United States and one the day after.
The Inauguration Day March Against Hate, will take place in Oxnard on Friday, Jan. 20, with many of the same groups participating, but aimed more specifically at that city’s immigrant community.
“Basically, it’s a call to this community that they’re safe with us,” said Raul Lopez of CAUSE, who said the march isn’t planned to be so much a protest as a resource rally.
“We want to send out the word to immigrants that we’re there for them,” explained Lopez, “so basically it’s a rally against hate and anything that might negatively affect our community.”
Lopez said that standing in solidarity with hundreds of other marches being held the same day, “helps people understand that there are resources available.”
In addition to the same groups as are participating in the Ventura March, Oxnard’s march will include MICOP, the resource center serving Ventura County’s Mixteco immigrant community.
Gathering at 1:30 p.m. in Camino del Sol Park at Rose Avenue and Camino del Sol, at 2:30 p.m. marchers will begin making their way to Plaza Park in downtown Oxnard, where a rally will be held at 5 p.m. Participating groups will be available at information tables. Other local groups that would like to have a table at the Oxnard event can call CAUSE at 805-658-0810.
Oxnard City Councilwoman Carmen Ramirez will be in Washington, D.C., for the Women’s March, ironically because she had bought tickets to attend the inauguration of Hillary Clinton.
“That’s not going to happen, so I’m attending the march,” Ramirez said. “It’s important because we have an incoming president who has verbally expressed disregard for the rights of women, the LGBT community and others.
“You can’t be silent about that,” Ramirez continued, “So this is just a way to let people know that this is just not acceptable.”
On Jan. 21, Justice for All’s March for Justice begins 10 a.m. at Ventura’s Plaza Park, 651 E. Thompson Blvd. Following the march at 11 a.m., there will be guest speakers, entertainment and a food truck. Participating groups will have tables with information and resources available.
“After the election, I kind of felt a calling to do something,” explained Catherine Pulisic of Justice for All, the group organizing Ventura’s march in support of “Muslims, the poor, undocumented,” and others who may feel threatened by Trump’s campaign rhetoric.
“We’re hoping this will be the start of a much bigger movement,” said Pulisic. “We want to stop having people talk and start having them do; we want to spark activism again.”
Pulisic said she was inspired by another march being held concurrently in Washington, D.C., on the same day, the Women’s March on Washington.
“It really kind of put energy back into the type of work we’ve been doing and should have been doing earlier,” said Pulisic, who majored in peace and justice studies at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California.
She worked for the American Cancer Society before leaving to have children, who are another motivating factor for her newfound activism.
“It’s important for our kids to see how this works and what America stands for,” said Pulisic, and that they see the importance of being involved.”
Pulisic said the group’s goal is to have over 500 people participating in the march; as of Monday night the group’s Facebook page showed more than 400 people attending.
“A lot of people saw the election as a disappointment, but we have to realize we have the power to do something,” Pulisic said. “A lot of good things have come out of bad incidents, so I’m hopeful.”
Participating groups will have information tables, including Planned Parenthood, ARC, Amnesty International, Boys & Girls Club, Green Party, ACLU, Ventura County Concerned Citizens Committee, Mni Wiconi Pacifica, Ventura County Activists For Bernie Sanders, Democratic Club of Ventura, Diversity Collective Ventura County, Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions, Stand Up For Racial Justice, Ventura County Climate Hub 360, Unitarian Universalist Church and Our Redeemer Lutheran Church.
Other local groups that would like to have a table at the Ventura event can message Justice for All at its Web page, https://www.facebook.com/justiceforallventura, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Catherine Pulisic at 805-218-5901.