More than 500 people gathered Sunday afternoon in front of LAPD headquarters to march across the city for women’s causes in recognition of International Women’s Day.
The march, which began next to Los Angeles City Hall and ended at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights, included about 70 social justice and women’s advocacy groups, including Ovarian Psyco-cycles, Pro People Youth and others, said Ashley Franklin, an organizer with the group Fight For the Souls of the City.
The marchers wanted to bring attention to a range of issues affecting women--immigration, abortion rights, violence and rape prevention, poverty, transphobia and healthcare quality, among others.
During the rally, an organizer standing on a flatbed leading the march called the names of women and girls killed by police. One group played jaranas, Mexican stringed instruments, in a circle, as a protester held a sign that said “No One Is Illegal.” Others hoisted signs reading: “Women’s rights are human rights,” “RIP PATRIARCHY” and “#ovarianpsycos.”
For Irmina Haq, a 29-year-old medical resident at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, the march was a place to fight for equality in healthcare.
“As a female physician, I think it’s my duty to come out here and fight,” she said, holding a sign reading “#feministdoctors.”
Daniel O’Neil-Ortiz, a 34-year-old social justice attorney, said he was rallying in solidarity with women. He wanted to call attention to male entitlement.
“There’s a lot of privilege that, as men, we have,” he said, “and there’s a lack of accountability for that.”
Franklin said her group was rallying against what she called “state-sponsored violence” toward women. For example, they wanted to draw attention to how bus fare increases disproportionately harm poor women, who form a large portion of riders in Los Angeles, Franklin said.
International Women’s Day, according to the United Nations website, was first recognized in 1909. It takes place every year on March 8 and is intended to bring greater awareness to women’s struggle for equality.