Continuing the tradition of marching on Los Angeles City Hall, the Women’s March is fast becoming a comment on the reshaping of American politics.
By Solomon Smith, Political News Editor
Expressive signs denoted a unifying thread throughout a crowd of thousands at the fourth Los Angeles Women’s March — voting out President Donald J. Trump.
Milling around the modern art façade of Pershing Square, demonstrators prepared for the 10 a.m. trek to Los Angeles City Hall.
The plight of children at the border, the White House’s attack on the Affordable Care Act, Supreme Court cases concerning Roe v. Wade, changes to school lunch programs, reductions in entitlement programs, education, pay equality, sexual assault and other issues were on the signs of marchers. World events also permeated the march. Indian immigrants held signs referring to new citizenship laws in India which provide paths to citizenship for the nearby Indian diaspora — as long as the immigrant is not Muslim.
“We are here to bring about awareness of the subjugation of Muslims in India,” said one young woman.
At the City Hall site, on a stage in front of thousands, many prominent Democrats came out to give their view on what is at stake in the upcoming year.
Representative Maxine Waters (D), a crowd favorite, pulled no punches in her description of Trump, as “crazy,” “criminal” and a “liar,” while Representative Karen Bass (D) focused on the future of democracy and the importance of the 2020 census.
“They tried that cynical maneuver of saying that they want to put citizenship on the census form,” said Bass. “Well it won’t be there but they did their work with the fear that they have installed into people thinking that you have to be a citizen. So it is our job to turn out make sure that everybody you know … fill out that census form.”
In 2019, the Trump administration attempted to add a citizenship question to the census, but lost the case in the Supreme Court and was forced to remove the added question, according to NPR.
As the march moves into its fourth year, the organization has continued to gain traction as a way for Democratic politicians to reach out, especially those running for office. Christy Smith, Democratic candidate for California's 25 congressional district seat (vacated by Katie Hill), spoke after being endorsed by Bass.
Caitlyn Jenner, an Olympic gold medalist and former Trump supporter, made her first showing at the Women’s March.
“It it time to stop the slaughter of trans women of color,” said Jenner.
Entertainment also energized the crowd. Seal performed, ending his set with “A Kiss From a Rose.” Jennifer Lewis of “Blackish” brought her rebellious energy to the stage with a rendition of “These Streets,” her high kicks and soulful voice becoming one of the high points among the performances. Jordin Sparks, an American Idol winner and Grammy nominee, performed hanging from the edge of the stage.
With a wide-ranging number of black performers and politicians, one noticeably absent group was the Los Angeles Chapter of Black Lives Matter, after some had accused the March of not being as inclusive as it should.
Some have worried that the march is beginning to run out of steam and that celebrities are replacing activists, but many are attracted by the big name stars. First time attendee, and Cal State San Bernardino freshman, Natalie loved the platform and guest list.
“I loved it, I felt really empowered, especially with the people who came to present their speeches. We saw Bella Thorne, Caitlyn Jenner, along with many other powerful women,” said Natalie. “I just turned 18 and so I’m very excited to be voting in this election.”