The San Francisco gender strike coincided with women’s day on Wednesday, March 8th 2017. The crowd gathered at Justin Herman Plaza near the Embarcadero building around noon, bringing the usual banners, propaganda signs and bull horns. From 12 to 2pm, guest speakers took stage and spoke to the crowd, resonating cheers and chants throughout the audience with American Sign Language interpreters alongside them.
There was an increase in members utilizing methods to cover their identity within the crowd. One woman, who waved a flag containing the hammer and sickle design from the communist revolution, said she would be all over the media if she didn’t. Members of Antifa stood at the back of the crowd, sporting their usual black bloc attire. One of their members wearing old army fatigue pants posed for pictures for the large group of photographers present at the demonstration. A few women clothed in their pastel version of black bloc were present nearby, grasping onto homemade shields containing the Antifa emblem.
After 2pm, the crowd turned around and staged for their march on Market St, with aims to move towards the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services building to protest ICE. Their goal was to move towards the building then form a human wall around the entrance. Pedicabs helped ferry along members who had difficulty walking the distance, bearing their own banners on the back of their rides. San Francisco Police blocked roads for the movement, although there may have been a lack of coordination with protesters when they began marching through traffic on Battery St. The march halted briefly to allow the police to clear the roadway then proceed the short distance towards Washington St. to reform at their destination.
Police officers lined the block to keep an eye on demonstrators while protesters wielding banners formed a line across the entrance. SFPD maintained a buffer zone between the activists and the doorway while the chanting continued. Several floors up, two office workers leaned out of an open window to see what was going on below.