Women’s March in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 20, 2018. Photos by Stephanie Rivera.
Hundreds of thousands of women, men and children marched onto LA City Hall during the second annual nationwide Women’s March on Saturday.
While LA police and elected officials provided different counts on the number of participants—anywhere from 300,000 to 600,000—at least 200 of them were bused there from downtown Long Beach.
Organized by Second District Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce’s office, and co-sponsored by numerous other local and regional elected officials, participants boarded the buses early Saturday at Harvey Milk Promenade Park.
Before people boarded the bus, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson and Seventh District Roberto Uranga spoke words of encouragement before they sent off marchers.
“None of us would be where we are today without the sacrifices women have had to make over the years,” Richardson told the crowd. “Whether you’re president of the United States, whether you’re a CEO, whether you’re a vice mayor or a mayor, people deserve dignity and you should stand up for it and I stand with you for it.”
Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce speaks to Women’s March participants before they board buses to LA. Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, Councilman Roberto Uranga and his wife Tonya Reyes-Uranga stand behind.
The free service to locals was more than just an easy way to get to and from LA and Long Beach—last year Metro’s rail service was overwhelmingly packed with marchers causing hours-long delays to board.
Long Beach resident Silvia Clark, 43, said she wanted to meet women who shared similar beliefs she did.
“I don’t know a lot of women who follow the same dreams as I do and so I wanted to be around women who felt empowered and could empower me as well,” she said.
Clark said she decided to go to the march because she identified with many of the stories shared, including the current immigration situation. A Salvadoran, Clark and her family immigrated to the United States in 1983.
“We did everything the right way, my father wasn’t a thief […] and so I felt I needed to come and represent for him,” Clark said.
“I’ve also been a victim of male power,” Clark said, adding that she wanted to be a good example to the women in her family, including her daughters and nieces.
From left to right: Long Beach residents Kate Katzban-Beren and Silvia Clark march in Los Angeles.
Kate Katzban-Beren, who just a few months ago became a Long Beach resident, said she decided to board the bus because she was new to the area and didn’t know her way around yet.
“This was a nice way to meet some other people who are local to me and who care about the same things that I do and then also have that easy access to the march and not have to try to end up lost somewhere,” said Katzban-Beren.
Originally from New Jersey, the 39-year-old went to the first Women’s March in Madison, Wisconsin. She especially enjoyed the diverse crowd supporting each other and the positive and inclusive messages.
“I just wanted to get out there and just be visible and make sure that all of the issues that started being discussed with the first march are still relevant and topical and that we’re still paying attention to them,” Katzban-Beren said.
Long Beach hotel worker Juana Melara was mentioned by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti during the Women’s March as one of dozens of “silence breakers” who came forward with her story of being sexually assaulted. She was named “Person of the Year” by Time Magazine last year. Her image was used on a sign during the march.
Stephanie Rivera covers immigration and the north, west and central parts of Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter at @StephRivera88.
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