Four years ago today, the first Women’s Marches sprang up around the globe. An estimated 100,000 people assembled for the event in San Francisco alone — an impressive figure, especially when you consider that Oakland had already had 100,000 Women’s Marchers earlier in the day, San Jose weighed in with 25,000, and some smaller towns like Walnut Creek hosted their own events as well.

In San Francisco, the official Women’s March events didn’t start until 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time, when a spirited rally kicked off at Civic Center Plaza in front of City Hall. Gray clouds gathered above as activists and celebrities spoke to the crowd, and Joan Baez led everyone in a chorus of “We Shall Overcome.”

2017 Women's March protesters with signs at San Francisco City Hall
Familiar faces of famous women in history rose above the assembling crowd, with signs featuring Eleanor Roosevelt, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Amelia Earhart among others.

Everywhere you looked, “pussy hats” could be seen, mostly in pink. Many were hand-knit or sewn with the cat-like ears, while others were simply stocking caps modified with rubber bands or string to create the effect.

Each hat was a visual reminder — and protest — of the crude term Donald Trump used to describe women’s genitalia (and how he thought it should be treated) in a recording that surfaced during the 2016 election.

women wearing pink pussy hats for 2017 Women's March
Women’s marchers arriving at a San Francisco BART station holding “Pussy grabs back” and “Resist. Resist. Resist,” protest signs.

Women holding pink protest sign at 2017 Women's March San Francisco
Much like the pussy hats, many protest signs alluded to Trump’s crude 2005 comment referencing women’s genitalia.

Woman holding sign with Hillary Clinton concession quote
“To all the little girls…” the quote from Hillary Clinton’s concession speech on display as a sign at the Women’s March 2017.

children at Women's March San Francisco 2017
Many children turned out in attendance as well, whether carrying signs of their own or riding on the shoulders of parents.

Hate has no home here sign held at San Francisco Women's March 2017
Messages rejecting hatred and bigotry were among those promoting women’s equality and rights.

Woman holding protest signs against white supremacy and bigotry with a profile of Donald Trump
Signs protesting white supremacy and bigotry within a line portrait of Donald Trump, issues which would snowball during the four years of his administration following this day.

Shepard Fairey's "We the people" sign at San Francisco Women's March 2017
The new political artwork of Shepard Fairey debuted on signs at Women’s Marches around the world in 2017. Here a Latina appears above the words “We the people defend dignity.”

The first rain drops fell as the rally concluded, and the lights of San Francisco City Hall flashed on in a warm pink glow in honor of the event.

The sea of protest signs transformed into a sea of umbrellas. And soon the crowd began to flow from Civic Center Plaza toward Market Street, and on toward the Ferry Building.

Man and woman wearing pink pussy hats at 2017 Women's March San Francisco
Women were not the only ones wearing pink pussy hats at the 2017 Women’s March in San Francisco.

San Francisco City Hall with pink lights at 2017 Women's March
With umbrellas raised against the rain, demonstrators began to march toward Market Street.

Crowd beginning to march toward Market Street at 2017 Women's March
Marchers make way for Market Street with a sign reading, “Build bridges, not walls,” in protest of Trump’s promises to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Women's March sign, "Our bodies. Our minds. Our power."
Marchers move past the glowing City Hall toward Market Street, one carrying the “Our bodies, Our minds, Our power,” sign created by Jennifer Maravillas for the 2017 Women’s March.

Women’s Marches would take place again in each of the three years to follow during Trump’s presidency. Each year saw a different theme and emphasis. Click here to see more photos from the 2017 San Francisco Women’s March. (Digital downloads and prints are available.)

You can also view photos from each of the following San Francisco Women’s Marches and other major SF protests during the Trump administration see my photo archives.

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