Outside the Lens

‘Not my president,’ protest on steps of L.A. City Hall

On Feb. 20, hundreds of protesters coalesced on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall with signs and chants that took issue with President Trump’s policies, rhetoric, and attacks on various groups including the media.

Issues covered included Trump’s stances on women’s rights, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, his alleged ties to Russia, and his attacks on the press.

“We’re out here today because we’re both part of the gay community,” said Abril Alarcón, speaking for herself and Erin Bates. “We both come from immigrants, and we just hate everything about Trump’s policies so we wanted to make sure our voices are heard.

“The reason we came out here is to protest the injustices against a lot of people, including us, and how we’re actually kinda afraid of what’s happening right now,” Bates added. “And we’re not going to stand down because of fear.”

The event was dubbed a “Not My President’s Day” rally. Many said the Russian interference in the 2016 Election, as confirmed by U.S. intelligence officials, and Trump’s loss of the popular vote were the reasons they did not consider him their president.

“The more information that comes out about his ties to Russia, the more it’s clear that it wasn’t a fair election,” said Lisa Johnson. “So before, where I would respect an election and respect the presidency, it’s becoming more and more clear that it wasn’t a fair election, so that way I can feel safe in screaming out ‘Not my president.’”

Almost 20,000 signed up as “interested” on the Facebook event page, while 4,000 committed to attend. In-person turnout was much lower, perhaps due to expectations of poor weather.

The event formally ended at 1:00 p.m., at which time protesters peacefully sung “This Land Is Your Land.”

Dozens of street vendors offered churros, hot dogs, water, chips, T-shirts and buttons. One purveyor of anti-Trump, pro-women buttons and shirts, who declined to be formally interviewed, said she’d been in the business for 25 years and that it was her main source of income. A mobile credit and debit card reader from Square was visible on another vendors’ smartphone.