In 2018 I attended the Women’s March in Los Angeles to protest for women’s and human rights. I attempted to go the year before but there were so many women in the subway station I couldn’t get on. This time I left early and made it to Pershing Square in Downtown LA.
Because I was early, I was able to stand on the stairs directly in front of the stage to listen to the speakers. Along with pink-hatted women, there were plenty of men and children armed with protest signs that voiced their concerns and anger toward the state of our democracy. People of all races, religions, ethnicities, and ages showed up to march and many Baby Boomers were among them.
Without getting political I wanted to document my day at the Women’s March because it was important. In the 1970s we fought hard for women’s rights and we need to preserve them for our daughters and granddaughters. Whatever your political persuasion, this is important for ALL women.
The 2018 Women’s March speakers
We heard from speakers that encompassed the gamut of the human condition. Native Americans who had their land stolen from them and were sold as slaves, right here in Los Angeles, DACA Dreamers, the LGBTQ community, victims of rape culture, Filipino health care workers who care for elderly parents and others, Muslim women who are fighting extreme discrimination, millennials who will be leading our nation someday, politicians, and celebrities.
The beautiful thing about Los Angeles is its diversity. I know it may be hard to comprehend how important these issues are for people who live in communities that are primarily white. It’s understandable but we are all human being and need to have compassion for each other.
500,000 women, men and kids strong
By the time the pre-march speakers had finished, the streets were filled with people and signs. It took a long time to move an inch down the street to be able to move forward. In the morning, the crowd had risen to 200,000 and by the end of the day, there were well over 500,000 people jamming the streets and Grand Park. The Los Angeles Women’s March was the largest in the country for 2017 and 2018 probably because we have great weather. It was a stunningly beautiful day and I had to reapply my sunscreen.
As I marched down the street, I grabbed a street dog from an immigrant vendor. They were set up all over the march route. It was a yummy hot dog wrapped in bacon with onions. (I don’t usually eat hot dogs but I was starving) What would we do without our cultural differences. For one thing, we wouldn’t have all their great food.
As we reached Grand Park, there were acres of white tents set up with tables manned by political action groups so people could sign up sign up to volunteer or donate to causes.
Celebrities and politicians in attendance
I came to the 2018 Women’s March by myself, which made it easier to maneuver the crowd and squeezed my way closer to the front of City Hall where a stage was set up. It was still hard to see and hear but I listened to speeches by Scarlett Johannson, Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong’o, Rob Reiner, Allison Janney, Olivia Munn and songs sung by Adina Mendel and Melissa Ethridge.
For me, this protest transcends party lines
People speaking their minds and journalism matters. Preserve the freedom of the press and get the facts from reliable sources. Elect more women to government. Do what you can to help others and volunteer.
I realize we may have political differences but that wasn’t what the 2018 Women’s March was about. In addition to women’s rights, it was also about human rights, compassion, and preserving our rights to speak out and be heard. Women are a powerful force. We must use our power and empower those who are younger than us to preserve and protect our world and ALL who live in it.