Marchers carried signs, chanted slogans, and wore “p*ssy hats.” They wore shirts bearing taglines supporting “Me, Too,” “Time’s Up,” “Black Lives Matter,” and other social justice movements.
Over 500,000 people marched in downtown Los Angeles on Jan. 20 as part of the second annual Women’s March, the Women’s March Los Angeles Foundation reported.
Protesters assembled at 8:30 a.m. in Pershing Square before heading over to Grand Park, located in front of City Hall, at 11 a.m. A plethora of speakers addressed the marchers until 3 p.m.
The Women’s March Los Angeles Foundation assembled a stage in front of City Hall from which dozens spoke to the crowd. Speakers included actresses Viola Davis, Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria, Scarlett Johansson, and Sarah Hyland, as well as political figures like Attorney General of California General Xavier Becerra and Secretary of State of California Alejandro Padilla.
Speakers commented on issues of inequality and focused on empowerment, emphasizing the need for strong female leaders and increased political participation to catalyze governmental change.
The event also featured actress and singer Idina Menzel, who performed “Defying Gravity” from “Wicked,” singer/songwriter Rachel Platten, who sang “Fight Song,” and rock musician Melissa Etheridge, who sang “Uprising of Love” with the Gay Men’s Chorus.
The Women’s March Foundation is specifically oriented towards supporting “reproductive rights,” “LGBTQIA rights,” “civil rights,” “disability rights,” and “immigrant rights,” among other issues. The website describes the mission of the Women’s March as “harness[ing] the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.”
Many in the Brentwood School community recognized the significance of the march.
“[The march] is symbolic of the fact that our society is on an upward trend towards more equity and inclusion,” said senior Eve L., who participated in the march.
This year, the Women’s March Foundation placed emphasis on getting people to the voting booth, promoting “#HearOurVote” and “#PowerToThePolls” to inspire increased voter turnout, particularly for the 2018 midterm elections.
“If we have learned one thing this year it’s that we are not alone. We are not alone. Millions of women have marched, millions of women have raised their voices and told the world, hey, MeToo,” Hyland said, as quoted by Cable News Network (CNN). “And now, united, we have declared that the time is up. Time’s up. Time’s up on men harassing women. And assaulting women. And getting away with it.”
The next Women’s March is scheduled for Jan. 19, 2019, which will mark the two-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration.