Thousands of Women took a stand at the third annual Women's March in Downtown Los Angeles.
Rumors of cancellations after backlash from lack of diversity almost ruined the annual Women's March of Los Angeles. But after constant back and forth meetings with the press, organizers officially decided to continue the event. Ironically placed on Martin Luther King weekend, the march for me is a reminder of my position in America as a black woman. Though I understood the concerns over the number of minorities at the attendance of the previous year's march, I found it increasingly necessary to continue this tradition. Last year was my first time attending the event. Walking with thousands of women of all colors, sizes and from various backgrounds, I've never felt more powerful.
Jan. 20, 2018- Walking down the streets of Los Angeles, I did notice something a little off during the march. There was a large number of white women there (74% to be exact). I was not intimidated by the high number of white women there because I was fully aware of our cause. To me regardless of what race we were, we all had to acknowledge that 2017 was a scary year for women. The newly elected President of the United States was able to dodge past sexual assault cases, make racist comments and utilize his male "white" privilege to become the most powerful person in America. All while defeating the first women running for the position, great job America! With the new dictator in charge, other movements began being exposed such as disorderly conduct of sexual assault and regulation on a woman's body. Women came together that day to show that enough is enough! I didn't care about what women were at the march, I cared for anyone who woke up that Saturday morning with the intentions of fighting for women's rights. Unfortunately, not many people had that same notion.
Minority women complained and even organizers admitted that there was a huge difference in numbers of minorities versus white women at attendance. This complaint and the huge backlash of the non-profit organization being anti-Semitic, 2018 was planned to be the march last year of service. As the rain cleared, so did people's doubts about continuing the event. It was officially announced that the march would be continued the previous weekend.
Last Year at the 2018 Women's March Los Angeles
Jan. 19, 2019- Lyft assisted the day's traffic forecast by offering marchers a discounted code to ride to the event. Per usual Downtown Los Angeles was extremely crowded, but marchers avoided the crowds by ride sharing and taking the local metro. The march began at 9 A.M at Pershing Square with reportedly 250,000 attendees. Several streets in the area were closed off for the occasion including Grand, Hill, and Broadway. Starting at Olive and 6th Street, I was anxious to see what the crowd was going to be like post-backlash and post-government shutdown. With an obvious growth of demographics within the audience, it was prevalent that Americans have had enough of the current political B.S. Attendees with iconic posters with phrases such as "I'm With Her" and "Love Trumps Hate" filled the stage at 6th Street. After a couple of speeches and shouts of "Si Se Puedes", all of us were ready for the march. "Who Run the World ?", Beyonce shouted through the speakers while the multitude of both women and men shouted "girls'. This enigmatic energy filled the streets of Downtown Los Angeles. Women from all walks of life celebrated, complimented and uplifted each other. Women empowerment is initially expected from women at a march however, the shocker was the large groups of men and children supporting the cause. Standing next to the moving speaker, I noticed the march eventually turning into a dance party. We partied all the way to Grand Park dancing to music from Cardi B, Whitney Houston, and Lady Gaga. When the music was off several organizations took it upon themselves to shout for democracy and against Trump's recent political attacks towards immigrants. Almost an hour after the march take off, we finally made it to City Hall, where a stage sat for upcoming speakers. Celebrity guest speakers included La Verne Cox, Sarah Hyland, Lance Bass, Anjelica Huston, Lauren Jauregui, and Ricki Lake.
After another successful year of telling off Trump supporters and dancing with thousands of women, I am reminded of the importance of this march. At the end of the day, I was exhausted. My voice was run down from shouting at four men for telling me that this march is not necessary and that women need to keep both their mouths and legs closed. I was furious and felt defeated. "What's the point of continuing these marches if people were going to bring their negativity to this positive event," I thought. I walked away from the argument realizing that there is nothing that I can do to eliminate ignorance. Just as I was leaving I noticed a floral exhibit set up on the corner of the street. The wooden panels covered in flowers held up photos of iconic women like Michelle Obama. While attempting to take photos of the platform, my view was blocked by a little girl. The girl stared at the platform and began touching the photos and reading about these legendary women. Her family continued walking along, while she continued to stare in awe at the unique set up. It then hit me, this is exactly why I march. I march for the girls coming into the world after me. I refuse to let my generation be the one completely responsible for letting our government run a complete shit show. Being a bystander is what got us here in the first place and I no longer could remain silent. Seeing these women, men and children all stand for things that should be common sense reminded me that we're going to be alright. Trump's election was a minor setback for a major comeback. Could 2019 be the year where America finally get its' life together? Well based off of this march I can say that this is exactly what democracy looks like.