Event

Women’s March, Los Angeles 2019

I’ve photographed the 3 Women’s Marches so far:

In addition to moving to ever wider and more cinematic lenses, I think I’ve gotten better at this type of photography.

on the way to the Los Angeles 2019 Women's March, many passed through Union Station. Here we see a long snaking line for the Women's Room, next to no line for the men's room
8:43 am

Women Architects?

For anyone taking the LA Metro Red Line, Gold Line or other public transportation to the LA Women’s March, there might be a stop at Union Station.

The guy in the red & blue jacket is about to walk straight into the men’s room without waiting. As you can see, there is a long, snaking line to get into the women’s room. And it’s not because this is "The Women’s March". You’ll see the same lines here on Dodger Game days. Or in theaters and other venues.

I have to wonder, if we had more Women Architects, and more Women Building Owners/Managers, would we still have this "bathroom inequality"?

10 women hold a long black "Women's March Los Angeles" banner that spans the width of Hill Street at the start of the Women's March at Pershing Square
8:56 am

Hope

I do my best to be value-neutral in my Street Photography. But there’s no denying that my world view is progressive. For me, November 2016, and then January 2017, have been the most depressing moments in my American, national experience.

I was a young child when President Kennedy was assassinated, and one of my earliest memories is of my mother crying inconsolably. This is a very different time from then, but perhaps it is a glimpse at what my mother felt a half a century ago.

In the 2 years since the 1st Women’s March, I think our national situation has grown ever worse, yet I am somehow more hopeful now. Our current Government Shutdown, and the specter of Donald Trump declaring a National Emergency, and perhaps later Martial Law, is an American low-point. Still, I felt most hope-less in 2017.

And then I went to the 2017 Los Angeles Women’s March. Something like 750,000 Los Angelenos were there. Not just on the march route, but on every street I could see in all of Downtown LA, it was solid crowds of people. I’ve never seen anything close to that many people IRL, or in movies or on TV. It was astounding. The idea that every single tiny face I saw in the distance that day lived a full and complete life somewhere not all that far from me was a sublime experience.

Even though the news channels had these "red America" maps in November 2016, in January 2017 I saw clearly that I was surrounded by so many people who didn’t share Donald Trump’s values.

Marchers holding signs and listening to speakers on stage at Pershing Square before the start of the 2019 Women's March
9:08 am

Katie Hill

The people above, on the corner of 6th Street & Hill Street at the Pershing Square stage, are listening to Congressperson Katie Hill give a brief speech before the march.

In 2017, Katie Hill participated in the LA Women’s March as a private citizen. A few months later she decided to run for Congress and then participated in the 2018 LA Women’s March as a candidate. At this year’s march, she was a speaker and member of Congress. Inspiring as the march is, it isn’t an end in itself, it’s also a part of real change. The idea that the Executive Director of PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) could be a congressperson is a sea change from the values and careers that so many past members of congress have come from.

two women on Hill Street in Los Angeles are excited for the start of the 2019 Women's March
9:15 am
a woman in an "LA" (Dodger's Cap) kneels over a huge banner and writes her contribution to it. The banner spans the width of Hill Street at Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles at the start of the 2019 Women's March
9:31 am

Attendance

Estimates of crowds seem nearly impossible to do. And they vary widely. As far as I know, all 3 Los Angeles Women’s Marches have been the largest in the nation.

The 2017 Washington, DC march had an estimated 700,000 marchers. Something like 3X the crowd at Donald Trump’s Inauguration the day before.

The numbers for Los Angeles that I’ve seen are:

  • 2017 – 750,000
  • 2018 – 500,000
  • 2019 – 200,000

200,000 Los Angelenos is mind-bogglingly more people than I have seen anywhere else or could ever imagine. Still, after the even more uber crowds before, I confess that 200,000 felt a little smaller.

The weather today was spectacular. But it came after one of LA’s heaviest weeks of solid rain. So Grand Park was a lot of mud! This sort of forced many people to the sides of the park and side streets instead of the central mall.

Drummers dressed in white drumming and members of the crowd dancing on the corner of 5th St & Hill St as they await the start of the Women's March
9:33 am
many marchers taking the escalator or the stairs up from the Metro Red Line Pershing Square Station to the start of the Women's March
9:41 am

Go Metro

The marchers below are walking through the LA Metro Red Line station at Pershing Square. Above, they are ascending from Pershing Square station and heading toward the start of the march.

women walking through the LA Metro Station at Pershing Square. One carries a sign that reads "Our time to shine, #herstory"
9:43 am
a group of people standing on 5th Street in downtown Los Angeles waiting for the start of the Women's March. One holds a sign that reads "babes against bigots"
9:50 am

The Camera’s Eye

Through the day I ran into a handful of people I know.

An interesting thing about pictures is that even if you’re paying attention to your composition, sometimes you capture elements you don’t realize are there until you look at the images later.

In this Babes against Bigots photo, I didn’t see that the guy in the tan jacket to the right of the sign holder is a former Long Beach State University student of mine.

a family of 3 marching together in the Women's March. They all carry signs and wear "Girl Power" t-shirts
9:52 am
two women in the middle of the large crowd at Pershing Square. One carries a rainbow flag and wears a t-shirt that reads "resist"
9:57 am
a wide view of the crowd at the start of the Women's March at 5th street & Hill street in DTLA. Behind the crowd, the skyscrapers of DTLA rise into the air.
9:58 am

Power… and… Power

It was such a beautiful day in DTLA today. Especially after such a rainy week. The streets of DTLA, in addition to way too many homeless, are home to so many lawyers, business people, and other power brokers. Their towers stand as a shining backdrop to the thousands in the street. No doubt some of these marchers spend their days in those towers, and in every other role around Los Angeles.

three women in the large crowd at the start of the Women's March. One wears a t-shirt that reads "Make America Gay Again"
10:00 am
a big group of marchers at the 2019 Women's March in Los Angeles, California
10:02 am
Wide-angle view of the crowd at the LA Women's March. One woman holds a cell phone high into the air to capture the moment. Behind her, another woman holds up a sign that reads "no uterus, no opinion"
10:06 am

Selfies

Obviously.

a group of people walking west on 5th street toward the Women's March
10:18 am
on a streetcorner in DTLA, possibly Hill & 1st, a woman in a red jacket stands before a music stand, and conducts a group of about a dozen singers, also in red jackets
10:28 am
marchers walking down (possibly) 1st street toward City Hall
10:29:14 am
marchers walking down (possibly) 1st street toward City Hall
10:29:28 am
two women take a selfie in Grand Park
10:41 am
beneath a large cartoon-balloon of Donald Trump in a diaper, a family of 3 holds a sign that reads "Make love not wall"
10:45 am
Beneath a banner that reads "Equality Humility Integrity #sikhsofla" the Sikhs of LA pass out free rice & beans, water, and mango juice.
12:03 pm

#Sikhs of LA

The Sikhs of LA don’t just believe in Human Rights and Women’s Rights. They aren’t just generous. They are also fantastic cooks!

The beans & rice they are passing out above were so tasty! Even if you weren’t a little tired from standing and walking all day, they still would have been fantastic. The mango juice and water were also most appreciated.

a half dozen women dressed in all-black shirts, pants, shoes & caps, hold signs that read "resist persist"
12:30 pm
a family of 4 all wear matching Christine Blasey Ford t-shirts and carry signs with her image on them
12:41 pm
a man with long hair, a big beard, and a black hat carries an American flag up the steps at Grand Park in DTLA.
12:56 pm
a group of volunteers in pink "pussy hats" deflates the large, "Baby Donald Trump" inflatable balloon.
1:01 pm

Bye for Now

And then it was time to put the Baby Donald balloon away (above). And to leave Grand Park and head home (below).

young people leaving the march and heading north through Grand Park toward Grand Avenue. They carry signs from the Women's March, and behind them LA City Hall rises into the sky.
1:03 pm
a woman in Grand Park wears a t-shirt that reads "Mt. Nasty" and has a Mt. Rushmore-like rendering of four women: Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elizabeth Warren, and Michelle Obama
1:10 pm
a woman holds a flower covered sign in front of LA City Hall
1:13 pm
a woman stands in the middle of Hill Street in Grand Park in DTLA. She wears a pair of jeans that many people have written slogans of the day on. Another woman crouches down and writes something on her leg. LA City Hall rises in the background.
2:08 pm
a woman on Hill Street with bright pink hair wears a white t-shirt with a pink female torso on it. Where the vagina would be, there is a large eye. She holds a sign over her head that carries the same illustration with the words "Pussy Power, Talk About It!"
2:09 pm

Pussy Power – talk about it!

I photographed the woman above at last year’s march. She’d created a shirt with this graphic and a sign that read We are power – we are the future. This year she hand-printed her design on t-shirts and sold them as she walked along the march route.

Below – college students. Wrapping up their march day, saying goodbye, and getting ready to move into dorm rooms and other accommodations as they begin Spring Semester, 2019.

a group of a half-dozen college-aged women chat on Hill Street as they prepare to head home at the end of the 2019 Women's March.
2:10 pm

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