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Women's March Rally Brings Hundreds To Civic Park In Walnut Creek

WALNUT CREEK (CBS SF) -- Hundreds of people gathered at a park in downtown Walnut Creek Saturday morning for the Women's March, with many criticizing newly inaugurated President Donald Trump and calling for equal rights and compassion for all Americans.

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Millions Join Women's March Rallies Around California, Nation and World

People braved the rain in Civic Park Saturday morning for a rally that featured speakers and music, as well as tents for sign-making and causes such as climate justice and preserving government programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Attendees shared concerns about issues both foreign and domestic under Trump, with a particular focus on women.

"What's happening in our country and the potential that this man has, it's too important to just stand still and do nothing," Pleasant Hill resident Carolyn Phillips said.

"What he has said about women, what he plans to do to destroy our health care opportunities, what the Republicans are going to do to Social Security," Phillips said. "We have to give a voice to it, we have to not be passive, it's just too damn important."

Walnut Creek resident Susan Stoltz and her husband Ron said they were also concerned about how the U.S. will interact with the rest of the world under the new administration.

"I worry about his immigration policies, his trade policies, I worry about his relationship with (Russian president Vladimir) Putin," Susan Stoltz said.

More women than men were at the park Saturday but Chris Dundon of Martinez was one of many men who came out in support.

"I'm a middle-aged white male, and the entire country, all of our politics lean in favor of me," Dundon said. "I'm here today to primarily support all of these equal rights that various people are fighting for."

Karen Stiles, a Walnut Creek resident, said she and some friends had sign-making parties prior to Saturday's event and didn't know what to expect as far as crowd size.

"I had no idea there would be this many people, it has brought tears of joy to my eyes all morning," Stiles said.

She said many people around the country assumed that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would defeat Trump and Saturday's events locally and nationwide are part of a political awakening.

"I think we were sleeping, now people woke up because it had to be thrown in their face," Stiles said. "We have to go through the bad to get to the good so we know what good is."

Event organizers, including the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County and the Contra Costa County Labor Council, planned the rally at Civic Park to end early Saturday afternoon with a march through downtown Walnut Creek.

Many people at the Walnut Creek event then plan to take BART to San Francisco, where another Women's March was planned for later Saturday.

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report

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