In 2017 the first set of Women’s Marches were considered the largest single day protest of all time in the U.S. The three largest cities were Washington D.C. with over a million, Chicago with 250,00 and Los Angeles with 750,000. Three years later the numbers may be a bit smaller, but for a protest movement that has seen problems in the past couple of months…it seems to be doing fine in Los Angeles.
Nation of Change this year attended the Los Angeles march and rally in front of the cities town hall. While, as I write this we do not have a specific number of attendees, it was easily into the thousands with representation from nearly every group conceivable. SEIU was handing out water bottles, the Sikhs of LA were serving delicious smelling food, along with a number of small local groups tabling. Unlike last years Women’s March in D.C. which was mainly a Democratic party speaking platform the march in Los Angeles seemed to make quite a bit of effort to connect with community organizations.
There was of course the massive inflatable baby Trump floating above the crowd. And not unlike previous years marches the original sign creators were on fleek (are we still saying that word? Apologies, I’m old).
In Los Angeles the Teachers strike loomed as ongoing city wide protests were happening throughout the week – LA Mayor, Eric Garcetti spoke words of support for the teachers. Garcetti, whose name has continually been discussed as being a 2020 Presidential contender spoke about the 2018 election successes for the Democratic Party, but connected to women. “There wasn’t just a blue wave, there was a pink wave, and we’re proud of it.”
Other politicos and celebs included Laverne Cox, Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Laura Dern (and her daughter), Nicole Richie, Gloria Allred, Adam Rippon, Ricki Lake and Rosie Perez.
Fight for 15 was there in force – as pay inequality is always a “women’s issue” first and foremost. National Women’s Law Center reports that …despite making up less than half (47 percent) of all workers, women are nearly six in ten (58 percent) of the more than 26 million workers in low-wage occupations that typically pay less than $11 per hour.
Maria Jose Vera of the Fight for 15 LA movement told me:
We’re here together with a union to help every woman out there that is working. They got, sexually harassed with so many people and they don’t count what the union to help them and support them, so that’s where the fight for 15 is here to tell everybody in general that were important to have a union, to have somebody to help them and be behind them or a case of any sexual harassment or if they actually tell them and they retaliated by cutting hours, cutting day, so work. Don’t have somebody in their back in their corner fighting for them, telling them, you know what? That’s not the right way to do it. It’s injustice. So that’s where we’re here for.
But of course any lefty protest these days bring counter-protests from trolls and the MAGA hat wearing crowd, the Women’s March in LA was no difference. The numbers were small, even for a left coast city, LA. Maybe a total of 7.