I’ve photographed the 3 Women’s Marches so far:
- Women’s March, Los Angeles 2017 – with a 35mm lens
- Women’s March, Los Angeles 2018 – with a 24mm lens
- Women’s March, Los Angeles 2019 (below) – with a 14mm lens
In addition to moving to ever wider and more cinematic lenses, I think I’ve gotten better at this type of photography.
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"?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
#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.
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).
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.