Thousands participate in Women’s Marches across California

Thousands of people took to the streets of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and other cities across California on Saturday for the third annual Women’s March.

Women, men and children carrying homemade signs filled Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles before marching about a mile to a rally in front of City Hall.

Long Beach council members and other elected leaders co-sponsored charter buses to downtown L.A. to get to and from the march.

The original march in 2017, held the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people to Washington and dozens of other cities.

Turnout this year was expected to be lower amid an intense ideological debate among the movement’s leaders. In November, Teresa Shook, one of the movement’s founders, accused the four main leaders of the national march organization of anti-Semitism.

In the Northern California town of Eureka, organizers had canceled the march over concerns that it lacked diversity, but on Saturday a few hundred people marched in the rain.

Those who came to the rallies called for unity. They held signs that said “sisterhood knows no religion or outfit” and “all are welcome here.”

In Los Angeles, some women said they were marching for the third straight year and wanted to show continued support for the movement.

“It’s important that women and those who believe in women’s rights should right now, more than ever, show support of the mission which is about equity for all people,” said Los Angeles Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport and I came out to continue to stand for that proposition,” Ellen Krugman of Marina del Rey said. “If I don’t go, who will?”

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