Stephen Oduntan, Staff
Hundreds of demonstrators flooded the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Saturday for a boisterous fifth Women’s March to protest the nomination of federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court and the reelection campaign of President Trump.
The crowd assembled at Pershing Square and then marched a short distance through the high-rise buildings of downtown to City Hall and then back, covering a total of about three miles.
They chanted and listened to speakers.
“We are gathering in Los Angeles to say that we are confident in the women leaders of America and that women will decide this election,” said Amber Otwell, one of the organizers of the event.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the demonstration was considerably smaller compared to years past, but crowds still marched throughout other areas of the Southland, including Pasadena, Long Beach, Torrance, and Laguna Niguel.
Bronze Knight, an army veteran, talked about the current polarized climate in America and that social inequality wasn’t what she risked her life for in the military.
“As a Black woman, I have to fight. I fight for women being killed in their sleep. I fight for the LGBTQ community. I fight to have the right to be a woman in this country,” said Knight.
“All Black lives do matter along with Brown lives,” she continued. “Change has to happen. We can’t just stay this way. So I can’t just sit around and complain. I have to be out here and do something.”
Marchers also paid tribute to Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black woman who was shot to death by police in her Kentucky home on March 13.
“Say her name,” a demonstrator chanted. “Breonna Taylor,” the group responded.
Some protesters dressed in red robes and white bonnets, portraying characters forced to bear children in the dystopian novel and television series “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Meanwhile, signs and banners emphasized anti-Trump overtones like “Trump/Pence: Out Now,” while others simply read “Pack Your Sh*t and Get Out.”
Iris Flores felt it was important that her five-year-old daughter accompany her to the demonstration, so she can grow up knowing the importance of her rights and beliefs.
“Our bodies are our rights. We control what happens to us, and no one else should’ve a say on that,” she said.
“Racism Never Sleeps,” read on the T-shirt of Joyce Guy, an African-American woman wearing a mask with a picture of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg whose September 18 death sparked the rush by Republicans to replace her with a conservative.
“It’s time for all of us to exercise our civic duty to vote, and also more than ever we have to let the White House know that we’re in total protest of their trying to ram Amy Coney Barrett through the Supreme Court,” Guy said.
She went on to say that Barrett’s confirmation would roll back women’s rights 20 years and could overturn Roe v. Wade in the next few years, either gradually or in one massive scoop.
“No one can replace Justice Ginsburg because she was an irreplaceable person. But if we’re going to have a woman replace her; let’s have a woman who represents women’s equality and women’s rights. This person who they’re trying to ram through the courts right now is not like that,” Guy said.
Asked what message Saturday’s march sent to the current occupier in the White House, Guy said, “It’s time for [Trump] to go. That’s the message.”