2020 LA Women’s March draws smaller but energized crowd


(Photo by Sarah Morris/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 18: Signs of actress actress Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia are seen at the 4th Annual Women’s March LA: Women Rising at Pershing Square on January 18, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

Sean Davis, News Editor

The fourth annual Women’s March took to the streets of downtown Los Angeles this Saturday in a show of solidarity and support for women’s causes across the country.

The inaugural Women’s March took place in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, in response to what many had seen as his sexist, anti-woman statements and actions.

This year’s march saw a decrease in attendance but still had an estimated 300,000 supporters take to the streets.

Attendees Nanci and Diane have joined the march for their third and fourth times, respectively. When asked what changes she’s seen over the years, Diane says she’s seen “more acceptance” of the movement, with Nanci adding “It’s a part of our culture now. It’s something we need to do.”

The march began at 10 A.M. in Pershing Square and ended at Los Angeles City Hall at 11 A.M. A rally, featuring a variety of speakers, followed the march.

Speakers at the event included Democratic congresswomen Maxine Waters and Karen Bass, documentarian and First Partner of California Jennifer Siebel Newson, and a host of celebrity appearances, including Bella Thorne, Raven-Symoné, and Amber Heard.

A major thrust of the rally was drumming up support for Democratic candidates, made glaringly obvious by the large “VOTE” signs flanking the stage. Multiple campaigns had tables and staff searching for potential supporters amongst a seemingly sympathetic crowd.

Donald Trump was a haunting presence amongst the festivities. The famous “Baby Trump” caricature balloon floated over the crowd providing shade and an object of derision.

Some attendees arrived in costume. The striking red of The Handmaid’s Tale costume could be seen along with Suffragette inspired outfits.

A triplet of Disney princess-inspired Suffragette costumes drew attention from many in the crowd. Victoria Weinert was dressed as Sleeping Beauty, Nat Lawson as Snow White, and Bryn Lawson as Merida.

The trio was joined by an impressively dressed Ken Hazlett, who joked that his top hat toting costume was the “symbol of the patriarchy.” A handsome Akita dog named Kisuke that, according to Ken, “supports women’s rights” made a striking addition to the group.

The costumes, brainchild of Weinert, sought to “find the feminism” within the Disney classics while inspiring contemporary feminists with a reminder of the importance of the 100-year old suffrage movement.

Signs dotted the crowd showing support for women’s issues ranging from healthcare and abortion rights, climate change, and domestic political turmoil.

Multiple signs also commented on an issue untouched by the organizers and speakers of Women’s March LA: the exclusion of Black Lives Matter-LA from the march.

Black Lives Matter-LA has been a featured speaker at the march since it’s inception in 2017. Its exclusion has raised numerous complaints and statements from supporters.

Actress June Diane Raphael withdrew from speaking at the event in protest. The ACLU of Southern California and the Anti-Capitalist Feminist Coalition, among others, boycotted the event in protest.

According to BLM-LA co-founder Melina Abdullah, BLM-LA was told by the Women’s March coordinators that the rally was “trying to give space to new voices.” The space, according to the rally organizers, was reserved for those “who have a mission to register and encourage people to vote.”

The Women’s March LA 2020 turn-out may have decreased in number but the impact it had on attendees could be seen in the energy of the crowd.