Trump inauguration protest in San Francisco’s Civic Center, January 20, 2017. All photos by Pax Ahimsa Gethen, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Documenting the resistance

A year of protest photos from the Left Coast

This Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the President of the United States. For many, this was a weekend of protest, including women’s marches attended by millions throughout the world. Here in San Francisco, I had been photographing protests and rallies for years before Trump announced his run for office, and continued doing so after his election.

Below is a selection of my protest photos, including links to my original blog entries and the full photo sets on Flickr. All are Creative Commons-licensed for free sharing with attribution; please credit me as Pax Ahimsa Gethen. Many of my protest photos are also available on Wikimedia Commons.

I’ve photographed a number of rallies and other events besides those listed here. A full list of links to my photo sets is on my Funcrunch Photo site.

November 13, 2016: Taking to the streets

Protesters march through the Castro, carrying signs including “Not My President” and “I Will Not Be Silent”.

While nationwide protests started on November 9, the day after the election, the first I attended was held that Saturday. Not sponsored by any particular group, we marched throughout San Francisco for hours, sitting in the street at times for speak-outs. Full photo set here.

Protesters sit and stand in the street in the Mission district, holding signs including “Never Again Not Mein Fuhrer” and “Remember Hitler Was Also Elected”.
Protesters sit in the street in front of the Ferry Building at night; one standing speaks into a megaphone.

November 16, 2016: Standing with Standing Rock

Protesters march past San Francisco City Hall, carrying signs and a banner reading “Honor Treaty Rights”.

The Stand with Standing Rock protest was part of a national day of action against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and include a sunrise ceremony and march. The organizers, Idle No More SF Bay Area, included a specific list of demands addressed to the US Army Corps of Engineers; protesters blocked the entrance to their building. Full photo set here.

A protester holds a sign reading “We Can’t Drink Oil! #NODAPL”
Protesters stand in the street holding signs and a banner reading “Keep It In The Ground”.

November 19, 2016: Rallying against white supremacy

Protesters stand in the rain with raised fists.

My next protest was organized by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, which has been fighting against racism and imperialism regardless of who is in the White House. I prefer protests like these that center people of color, speak out unequivocally against war, and don’t just pander to Democrats. Full photo set here.

A protester marches while holding a sign reading “Nasty Women Rise Up!”

January 20, 2017: Protesting the inauguration

A protester stands in the rain holding a sign reading “My Melanin Is Not A Threat”.

I attended another A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition rally on the day of the inauguration. It was worth standing in the rain (again) to join the many voices throughout the country expressing their dissent. Full photo set here.

Protesters stand in the rain, holding ANSWER Coalition signs reading “#DumpTheTrump Fight White Supremacy” and “Fight Back Against Sexism, Homophobia, War & Racism”.

January 21, 2017: Women’s March

Women’s March attendees hold a banner reading “Love Trumps Hate”.

The turnout at the San Francisco Women’s March was enormous, despite the continuing rain. I was overwhelmed by the crowds, and didn’t get many good photos at this event unfortunately. Full photo set here.

San Francisco City Hall from above, lit in pink for the Women’s March.

January 26, 2017: People over pipelines

A protester holds a sign reading “People Over Pipelines”.

Another protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Keystone XL Pipeline as well. This took place at the San Francisco Federal Building, where protesters briefly held a sit-in in the street. Full photo set here.

A protester holds a sign reading “RESIST!”
Protesters sit in the street, holding signs and banners.

February 4, 2017: No ban, no wall

Protesters hold signs reading “No Ban, No Wall” and “Refugees Are Welcome Here!”

Trump’s January 27 executive order limiting immigration was widely protested throughout the country as blatantly discriminatory against Muslims. While I missed the large protests at San Francisco International Airport, I attended the protest at Civic Center the following weekend. Full photo set here.

A protester holds a sign reading “Respect Immigrants or Expect Resistance”.
A child holding the flag of Yemen sits on an adult’s shoulders at the rally.

March 8, 2017: Day Without a Woman

San Francisco Board of Supervisors president London Breed speaks on the steps of City Hall.

Following on from the Women’s March and coinciding with International Women’s Day, the Day Without a Woman rally at City Hall was one of many related events held nationwide. Speakers included Board of Supervisors president London Breed, who would later becoming acting mayor with the death of Ed Lee. Full photo set here.

A woman and young girl, both dressed in red, sit on the steps of City Hall.

April 15, 2017: Tax March

A giant inflatable “Trump Chicken” looms in front of San Francisco City Hall.

Part of a nationwide effort to pressure Trump to release his tax returns, the San Francisco Tax March started with a rally at City Hall. Featured guests included House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, and a giant inflatable chicken. Full photo set here.

Nancy Pelosi greets attendees of the Tax March.
A Tax Marcher in a “pussyhat” has words for the President.

April 22, 2017: March for Science

March for Science San Francisco attendees hold up a large banner for the event.

While advertised as non-partisan, the March for Science definitely resembled an anti-Trump rally, at least in San Francisco. Though unlike the grassroots efforts I generally prefer, this event was slick and well-funded. Full photo set here.

Two young children hold a sign reading “Science Has No Borders”.
March for Science attendees hold various signs.

May 1, 2017: May Day, May Day!

Protesters stand in the street, fists raised and chanting, holding a banner reading “Unite Here — All races — All religions — All immigrants.”

On May Day I attended two demonstrations in San Francisco, protesting Trump’s immigration policy and showing solidarity with workers and people of color. Protesters blocked the driveways to ICE buildings, and painted a large circle with the words “Resist” and “No Ban No Wall” in the middle of an intersection. Full photo set here.

Protesters sit on the sidewalk with arms linked in front of the ICE driveway.
Protesters paint a large circle with the words “Resist” and “No Wall” in the middle of the intersection.
May Day marchers head up Market Street from the Ferry Building.

June 3, 2017: March for Truth

Protesters dressed like FBI agents stand in Embarcadero Plaza with a Russian doll resembling Trump.

The March for Truth was organized to protest against alleged Russian interference in the election. At the end of the march, the San Francisco event featured a creative set of nested Russian dolls representing various members of the administration. Full photo set here.

Protesters stand near Russian dolls resembling Mike Pence, Carter Page, Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn, and Vladmir Putin, all wearing numbered “Department of Corrections” signs.

July 2, 2017: Impeachment March

Protesters hold banners reading “”

Self-explanatory, the Impeachment March in San Francisco was one of many held throughout the country. Full photo set here.

A protester stands with raised fist and a shirt reading “Nevertheless She Persisted”.

September 5, 2017: No human being is illegal

Protesters at a DACA rally hold signs and banners in support of the “dreamers”.

Protests against the rescission of DACA have been held throughout the country since September. The debate is still very much in the news today, while the fate of hundreds of thousands of “dreamers” hangs in the balance. Full photo set here.

A protester holds signs in English and Spanish.

September 24, 2017: “Free Speech Week”

Protesters, led by Sunsara Taylor of Refuse Fascism, kneel with raised signs and fists.

Across the bay from San Francisco, protesters clashed with Trump supporters over the visit of Milo Yiannopoulos to the UC Berkeley campus. Full photo set here.

November 4, 2017: Refuse Fascism

Protesters speak at a Refuse Fascism rally in Union Square, San Francisco.

The beginning of a series of nationwide protests by Refuse Fascism, with the intention of removing both Donald Trump and Mike Pence from office. Full photo set here.

2018: The resistance continues

I plan to continue documenting the resistance at the 2018 Women’s March in San Francisco this Saturday. The struggle against oppression will persist for as long as the marginalized have the will and ability to speak out. I share these photos freely to contribute to that effort. I hope that my work makes a difference.

My photography expenses are funded by readers. If you like my work and have the means, please support me with a Patreon sponsorship or a tip on PayPal or Venmo.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store