A year after millions of people took to the streets to protest President Donald Trump’s inauguration, hundreds of thousands of women’s marchers gathered at parks and city halls throughout California on Saturday to condemn sexual harassment, violence against women and the presidency of Trump. This was just one of dozens of similar protests held around the country.
After beginning the protest in Pershing Square, demonstrators marched to Grand Park, swarming the streets around City Hall. There, a number of celebrity speakers addressed the crowd, including actresses Viola Davis and Scarlett Johansson. During her speech, Davis reminded the women in the crowd that they must fight for their liberties and their rights, saying that “it is through human dedication and effort that we move forward.” She said, “I am speaking today not just for the MeToos, because I am a MeToo. But when I raise my hand I am aware of all the women who are still in silence, the women who are faceless, the women who don’t have the money and who don’t have the constitution and who don’t have the confidence and who don’t have the images in our media that gives them a sense of self-worth to break their silence.”
She urged everyone to be politically active and to fight for their cause. “No one and nothing can be great unless it costs you something,” she said. “We’ve got to bring up everyone with us. I stand in solidarity with all women who raise their hands … and my hope for the future is that we never go back.”
Activists who came out to march said their main objectives were “ending violence, protection of reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, workers’ rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights, Indigenous people’s rights and environmental justice.” Other peaceful demonstrations drew large crowds from the state Capitol in Sacramento to cities in the San Francisco Bay Area and south to San Diego.