Politics

300,000 protest Trump at Women's March in Los Angeles

Demonstrators gather at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles for a Women's March on Jan. 20, 2018.
Demonstrators gather at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles for a Women's March on Jan. 20, 2018.
Michelle Faust/KPCC

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Hundreds of thousands gathered in downtown Los Angeles for a Women's March against sexual violence and the policies of the Trump administration.

Demonstrators, including state officials and celebrities, marched to City Hall on the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump's inauguration.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department confirmed to KPCC that 300,000 turned out.  They estimated 35,000 filled Grand Park, the mall from City Hall to the Music Center. Mayor Eric Garcetti said totals could rise to 500,000 by the end of the day.

Speakers at the rally included Scarlett Johansson, Alfre Woodard, Viola Davis and Eva Longoria.

Johansson said women have been "conditioned" to need approval from men and told the crowd: "For me, moving forward means time's up on the female condition." Woodard said women can stop what she called "this slide to the bottom" by voting in the mid-term elections.

Demonstrators rally in downtown Los Angeles for a Women's March on Jan. 20, 2018.
Demonstrators rally in downtown Los Angeles for a Women's March on Jan. 20, 2018.
Michelle Faust/KPCC

Demonstrators came from across Southern California.

Nadine Schmitt, 41, from Duarte, held a sign that read "Grab them by the midterms." She said she wants to see a "blue wave" in November.

"A lot of people have felt powerless and helpless for the past 12 months," she said. "Now is our opportunity in November to turn things around."

Demonstrators rally in downtown Los Angeles for a Women's March on Jan. 20, 2018.
Demonstrators rally in downtown Los Angeles for a Women's March on Jan. 20, 2018.
Michelle Faust/KPCC

Diane Omari, who came to the march with 30 other men and women, held a sign reading "Trumpster for the Dumpster." Omari says she'll march every year until Trump is out of office.

Hailey Bowers, 22, from Glassell Park came to draw attention to wage inequality between women and men, as well as women representation in government, media and other social institutions.

She held a sign that reading "You're so vain, you probably think this march is about you."

"Donald Trump makes everything about him, and this is so much bigger than him,"Bowers said.

Demonstrators gather at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles for a Women's March on Jan. 20, 2018.
Demonstrators gather at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles for a Women's March on Jan. 20, 2018.
Michelle Faust/KPCC

Rebecca Walsh, 29, framed her concerns as a class issue. 

"I really want to see people be able to live their lives and make the choices they need to make. Not regulated by rich people who are just trying to squeeze as much money out of us as they can."

Demonstrators gather at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles for a Women's March on Jan. 20, 2018.
Demonstrators gather at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles for a Women's March on Jan. 20, 2018.
Michelle Faust/KPCC

Vendors sold T-shirts, anti-Trump buttons and pink "pussy hats" with cat ears.

Marches in L.A., San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento are among some 200 taking place around the world this weekend in opposition to Trump policies and to protest sexual assault and harassment.