BCK FILE--2017 was a Year of Resistance and Los Angeles was certainly among the epicenters. The election of Donald J. Trump, who uses Twitter to fire off missives against anyone who questions his policies or role in Russiagate, has produced an administration and party aimed at destroying all protections, so Angelenos have been gathering in Pershing Square and other locations throughout Southern California to express our opinions.
The Year of Resistance kicked off on January 21, 2017 with one of the largest Women’s Marches in the country, promoting the mission: "We stand together in solidarity for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health and our families -- recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country."
According to the Women’s March organizers, about 750,000 gathered in downtown LA to support diversity, human rights for all, safety, and health. With so much at risk, from healthcare and immigration policy to women’s equality in the workforce and LGBTQ rights, as well as labor rights and environmental deregulation, numerous voices were represented.
This year, the Second Annual Women’s March will be held on Saturday, January 20 in downtown’s Pershing Square. Registration details follow this column.
In February, a Medicare for All March was held downtown to promote a single payer system as President Trump took measures to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Additional February marches in Los Angeles included NoDAPL and NoKXL March to protest the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines, the Immigrants Make America Great March to protest the President’s Travel Ban from seven countries with Muslim populations (which remains upheld in the Higher Courts); and the Not My President’s Day Rally at City Hall to protest the President’s policies.
On March 8, The Women’s March Foundation supported the Day Without Women Rally and strike at City Hall in demonstration for equity, justice, and human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people. Women were encouraged to participate by taking the day off from paid and unpaid labor; to #GrabYourWallet by avoiding shopping except from small women- and minority-owned businesses; and to wear red in solidarity.
Later in the month, on March 26, The Feminist Majority conducted rallies and fundraising walks to support women’s equality and to support the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The 1st Annual Los Angeles Rally and Walk for Equality took place at Pan Pacific Park.
The Walk for Equality was held just days after Nevada’s state legislature ratified the ERA. The proposed amendment states that rights guaranteed by the Constitution apply to all persons, regardless of sex. Following the ratification of the 19th Amendment, extending women’s right to vote, suffragist leader Alice Paul introduced the ERA in 1923 and the amendment was passed by Congress in 1972 to be sent to states for ratification. The amendment’s initial 7-year time limit had been extended by Congress in 1982 but by that deadline, the required ratification by two-thirds of the states fell short by three. Currently, there are four ERA bills in Congress.
The Trump Administration and GOP policies have included numerous measures to limit or restrict women’s equality.
Also in mid-March, a Propaganda Protest was held in front of Breitbart’s headquarters to support free speech and free press. Breitbart was chosen because the company’s former CEO Steve Bannon was engaged with the Trump Administration.
The following month, the Trump Tax Returns March was held as part of a worldwide effort to encourage President Trump to release his tax returns. At the end of April, scientists and students gathered downtown for the March for Science to protest the Trump Administration’s anti-science view and policies. The march included a Science Expo, demos, teach-ins, and other forms of outreach.
At the end of April, the People’s Climate March Los Angeles was held in Pershing Square and a May Day March was held in May to protest the Administration’s anti-labor policies.
June’s annual LA Pride Parade was changed to #resistmarch in solidarity with the National Equality March for Unity and Pride in Washington, DC. and to support all groups marginalized by the Trump Administration policies.
In August, Los Angeles joined numerous cities across the country to protest the neo-Nazi and white nationalist rally in Charlottesville and the President’s lack of response. Additional rallies were held to counter protests of white nationalists in August, as well.
September protests included a March for Immigrants Rights to protest President’s Trump’s Border Wall and his ending of DACA. Close to Election Day, anti-Trump and Refuse Fascism protests were held in Pershing Square. Trump supporters faced off with those protesting President Trump and Vice President Pence.
This month, numerous groups are mobilized to protest in the event President Trump attempts to fire Robert Mueller, Special Counsel investigating the Russian meddling in the 2016 election and obstruction of justice charges.
What’s next in 2018? The Resist Movement is continuing to make its presence known in Los Angeles, beginning with the 2nd Annual Women’s March. We’ll be keeping you posted about upcoming marches and protests throughout the year.
For additional information about the Women’s March 2018, visit the website.
To register, visit EventBrite.
(Beth Cone Kramer is a Los Angeles writer and a CityWatch columnist. This is part of an ongoing series on the work of the 2017-2018 Budget Advocate Committee.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.