By Olivia Levada Lenoir
Approximately 750,000 people attended the Women’s March in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, according to organizers, and Cal Poly Pomona students, faculty and staff joined in the efforts.
Just one day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the mission statement for the Women’s March called upon “all defenders of human rights” to “stand together in solidarity for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health and our families.”
“People who were there were people who were interested in making America what we all dream of it being- a place where everyone does have the opportunity and we can speak to each other,” said Victoria Bhavsar, director of faculty development and e-learning and lecturer from the plant science department.
The L.A. march began at Pershing Square at 9 a.m. and concluded at City Hall.
Attendees were equipped with signs, pink beanies and pink clothing.
Bhavsar carried a sign that read, “God bless everyone, no exceptions.”
Other sign messages addressed underlying themes of Planned Parenthood, immigration, LGBTQ rights and more.
Alina Rasa, a fourth-year civil engineering student, described the march as great but felt that not every experience was represented across the country during the marches.
“There were people there ” different races, different classes, and like cisgender and trans women and there were even kids there,” said Rasa. “So that was really beautiful, but I think there wasn’t enough acknowledgement of every experience.”
For Bhavsar, participation was about unity.
“The political situation in our country is very tense right now, and I’ve traveled enough to know that we have something extraordinary here. America, the United States of America, is extraordinarily special and we need to protect it,” said Bhavsar.
There were protests in all seven continents and in more than 600 cities across the globe, according to CNN.
Over 1 million people joined worldwide.
Krista Martino, a fifth-year English literature student, had never attended a march before but described her experience at the march in Riverside, California as rewarding.
“There is kind of this uproar that we feel cheated, almost, of not just our rights but of what we wanted out of a democracy and what we wanted out of our next president,” said Martino.
Martino hopes that the march will make a difference because of the amount of people who joined.
“I think it’s going to stick around as something that mattered,” said Martino.
According to Rasa, more efforts will have to be made for real results.
“Even though it was a really amazing thing” I don’t think change can happen overnight,” said Rasa.
In response to the march, Trump tweeted the following day, “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt badly.”
Madonna marched in Washington D.C. and said, “Good did not win this election, but good will win in the end.”
Celebrity appearances in L.A. included Miley Cyrus, Barbara Streisand, Russell Simmons, Natalie Portman, Vanessa Hudgens and others.
Trump also shared in a tweet on Sunday, “Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”
Courtesy of Natalia Angeles
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