Tens of thousands of people are expected to turn out Saturday in cities across the Bay Area for a series of Women's Marches as part of a grassroots political movement to get more women into political office.
The Women's Marches began in January 2017 in the wake of the election of President Donald Trump, drawing huge crowds at events across the globe. The largest gathering this year will likely be in San Francisco, where an estimated 100,000 people marched last year.
While electing female political leaders is a main focus of the events, female empowerment in general is the overriding theme. Many of the events will feature a so-called Call to Action Alley, in which demonstrators can speak with representatives of nonprofit community organizations.
San Francisco Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Sandra Lee Fewer are among the speakers on the program at the San Francisco event, which is expected to draw about 80,000 people.
In 2017, nearly 350,000 people rode BART trains on the day of the Women's March. That's the transit agency's second highest number ever for a weekend day, especially because about 175,000 riders use BART on Saturdays.
This weekend, BART will have extra trains on standby.
Demonstrators will gather at 11:30 a.m. at Civic Center Plaza for the rally, followed by a march down Market Street to the Embarcadero at 2 p.m.
In Oakland, where an estimated 100,000 people marched last year, demonstrators will gather at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater on Lake Merritt Boulevard at 10 a.m. At 11:30 a.m., the group will march to Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland.
Last year, about 25,000 people showed up for the Women's March in San Jose, according to organizers. This year's march is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at San Jose City Hall.
The group will march about one mile down Santa Clara Street to Arena Green East near the SAP Center for a rally with speakers, music and food.
Additional Women's March events planned in the Bay Area include Women's March Contra Costa, a 10:30 a.m. rally at Walnut Creek's Civic Park, 1375 Civic Drive.
The Santa Cruz Women's March drew 18,000 participants last year, according to organizers. This year, the event is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at Pacific Avenue and Water Street, followed by a march to Louden Nelson Community Center at 301 Center Street.