By Lois Angelo
On Saturday, Jan. 21, members of Loyola’s faculty, students and staff participated in the first Los Angeles Women’s March hosted by Emiliana Guerca, founder of the Women’s March LA Foundation. All of the marches hosted a variety of entertainment, several public speakers and informational booths.
The Los Angeles Women’s march is a one mile walk from Pershing Square to Los Angeles City Hall that lasted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. People of all backgrounds attended the march in an act of solidarity for social justice.
According to the Women’s March LA Organization, the march hosted over 750,000 people and was also the most attended march in the United States, topping over Washington D.C.’s 500,000.
According to the Women’s March website, the purpose of the march was “to stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us. We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up.”
The Los Angeles and Washington marches were held one day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. These marches follow the several anti-Trump protests which erupted across the United States last November and December. Guerca says the event is meant to be a “unifying moment for everybody” and insists the marches are not anti-Trump rallies.
The Washington and Los Angeles marches have spurred other communities within Southern California to host their own marches. Both Riverside and Orange Counties have decided to host their own marches. Moreover, marches occurred throughout the entire globe, ranging from major cities such as Toronto and Sydney. All of the marches have similar goals of establishing that women’s rights are human rights.
Assistant Director of Community Service Angela Moran, who is participated in the march, said, “I’m very enthusiastic about our community coming together as women to show support and a sense of kinship for those issues that are really important.”
Dr. Ann Holmquist, Assistant Principal for Ministry, and Pat Salvaty, Administrative Assistant, were other staff members that participated in the march. On the issue of religious, ethical, and gender equality, Dr. Holmquist said, “Speak up. If language of practices are intolerant or unaccepting, don’t pretend like you don’t notice. Shed light on the truth. Be courageous with your questions.”
Dr. Holmquist also hopes that the marches are “productive demonstrations for justice, equity and protection of all persons. I hope the marches are a step that leads to healing the heart and soul of our nation.”
Salvaty said, “It was a peaceful gathering of people who were together in their hopes that the clock would not be turned back. The poster that resonated with me was ‘Girls just want to have fun-damental rights.’ It was wonderful to see families marching together.”
Sophomore John Saade, who attended the march, said, “My anticipation was to go to the march and be around like minded, proud people. I knew I should go because it was for a cause that I believe in. My hopes and expectations were totally blown out of the water when I arrived.”
Junior Lenes Lopez Gonzalez, who attended and photographed the march, said, “There were all different types of people there. It was cool to see that so many people came together for what they believed in.”
Sophomore Aidan Lapp, who attended the march with his mother, said, “I believe the purpose of the march was women and those who support them could come together and express the joys of life and the concerns that threaten their well-being. I photographed the event to document and better inform the future about what happened that day.”
Sophomore Vincent Joaquin said, “Well, for one [The Women’s March] really shows that as human beings, we can exercise the right of freedom of speech. It also shows that women can have a say in society as well.”