Advertisement

Rally outside L.A. City Hall is part of nationwide International Women's Day celebration

Beneath warm afternoon skies, scores of people gathered outside Los Angeles City Hall on Wednesday to mark International Women's Day.

They joined thousands around the globe who organized in support of women's equality, turning the lawn at Grand Park into a rally full of speeches, poetry and lots of red outfits.

Advertisement

Politics stood front and center as many participants came to protest President Trump's positions on abortion, transgender rights and healthcare.

"There's just so much going on every day," said Paige Mueller, 32, of Hollywood. "It's important for everyone to get out and fight for those who can't speak up for themselves."

With chants and fists thrust into the air, rallygoers shared their messages through colorful signs and T-shirts with slogans such as: "Fight like a girl," "We are the resistance" and "I didn't come from your rib, you came from my vagina."

Some pushed for equal pay, others rallied to represent women who could not afford to take the day off to protest.

Grace Bryant, 18, and her classmates from American University Preparatory School said they joined the event because their global studies teacher encouraged them to speak up.

"We're here to protest the everyday micro agressions women face," Bryant said. "The judgment and false expectations."

Mikiko Convis from Tarzana showed up dressed like Wonder Woman, a character she said she had admired growing up.

"I'm here to inspire," the 29-year-old said. "To show women that we can do anything just as well as the guys."

The once-proud Republican said she has struggled with recent political changes and was worried about the future.

"That's why we are here, in Los Angeles and across the globe," she said.

Some women shimmied to the disc jockey's music alongside their daughters, including Katie Robison, 28, of Montecito Heights and her little one, 3-year-old Kiri.

"She loves all the action," Robison said. "And it's important for me to send this message of empowerment to her early on."

Onstage, one of the youngest speakers, Vanessa Tahay of Cleveland High School, made the crowd go silent with a speech about her mother, who cleans houses. The Guatemalan girl's voice quivered as she spoke:

"My mother has been taught to bow her head in respect.

Advertisement

She bows and apologizes for a broken plate.

Her knees are tired of cleaning floors.

Her hands are tired of picking up broken glass.

Her tongue is tired of saying: 'I'm sorry' in broken English."

At home, Vanessa said, her mother supports the family and has taught her to be proud of her indigenous heritage.

Out on the lawn, Grace Hong, 23, looked on. She said her boss, who runs a fashion public relations company, gave her and co-workers the day off.

She also gave them materials to make signs and red outfits from the company's closet. Hong's colleague, Nick Segodi, towered over her in red high heels.

"I didn't know how I would feel being here," Hong said of attending her first rally. "I feel powerful. I think together we can make a change."

Advertisement
Advertisement