Galvanized with signs up high, Angelenos get ready to march

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On Saturday, tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on downtown to participate in the Women’s March on Los Angeles. The march and rally will coincide with hundreds of other Women’s Marches being held throughout the country, including the main event in Washington D.C.

Participants say they are galvanized; some by fear or anger, others by a sense of hope. And others by a commitment to a vision of America that is inclusive and champions the rights of women, minorities and immigrants.

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Photo courtesy: Sye Williams (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)
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Photo: Jenny Hamel (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Cristina Pacheco, a member of an artists’ collective that has been meeting weekly since November 8, will be there. She and her collective organized a Women’s March sign making part this past Sunday, hosted by Self-Help Graphics and Art in Boyle Heights. About 800 people showed up for the event, which included many children who were encouraged by their parents to make signs.

For Pacheco, the march is an opportunity for each of these people to express themselves in a public arena. “As we’re walking in the streets, and we’re holding up signs and we’re holding hands, it’s a moment to say we’re in this together, we see each other and we will not allow things that are hateful, unjust and that are downright wrong to happen on our watch, and in our communities and in our country,” said Pacheco.

Another Angeleno at the sign making party, Luis Espinoza, said he hasn’t participated in a protest since the Vietnam War. But he said he’s concerned for his grandchildren and is worried the Trump administration will strip away a lot of the rights that have been gained over the last many decades.

To the question of whether marches are divisive and have any long lasting impact, Espinoza said, “I think marches are a piece of the whole. A whole number of events that are necessary, including voting, participating in community events where you can express your opinion, and marches are just one part of that piece.”

Participants will meet in Pershing Square at 9 a.m. before marching to City Hall at around 10 a.m. Once the march has concluded a rally will be held in front of City Hall.