Thousands of people descended on downtown Los Angeles for the third annual Women’s March, with activists and performers exhorting the crowd to engage in the political process and continue the fight for women’s rights and other civil rights causes.
Lawyer Gloria Allred, U.S. Rep. Katie Hill, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis were among many speakers at the Saturday event.
The crowd was smaller than in the previous two years. First organized in opposition to the inauguration of President Donald Trump in 2017, the march drew hundreds of thousands of people in L.A. last year as part of a nationwide series of marches, including in Washington D.C., Chicago and New York.
This year’s Women’s March Los Angeles began around 8:30 a.m. at Pershing Square, with attendees marching to Grand Park near City Hall after 11 a.m. There, a series of politicians, activists and celebrities spoke or performed for several hours.
The state’s first partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom — wife of Gov. Gavin Newsom — drew cheers from the crowd when she reminded them that California would increase funding for Planned Parenthood, provide universal pre-kindergarten and increase paid parental leave to six months “to support our working moms.”
“We will make sure that the women of this nation know that we have their backs,” she said.
No arrests or injuries were reported at the event, according to Officer Tony Im of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section.
As with last year’s event, organizers stressed that the march is not a protest.
“This is a Pro Peace, Pro Inclusivity Event focused on marginalized voices and the power of voting,” the event’s website said. “Part of our resistance is focusing on how we will use our vote to create the future we want. We respectfully ask that `anti’ sentiments are not the focus of this event. This does not mean that we don’t acknowledge the need or desire to feel anger and to protest. However, this is not the focus of this event. Thank you for your understanding.”
Women’s Marches were also held nationwide and in other Southern California cities Saturday, including Santa Ana, where a crowd estimated at about 15,000 people gathered.