In Countdown To Election Day, Hundreds Take Part in Women's March Through DTLA

Protesters dressed as characters from the dystopian novel "The Handmaid's Tale" helped lead a Women's March through downtown Los Angeles Saturday afternoon. (Josie Huang/LAist)

Nita Stith drove from Irvine to join hundreds marching through downtown Los Angeles Saturday afternoon because she said it didn't do any good to "Facebook it and scream at my TV anymore."

With the election just over two weeks away, the 63-year-old health care consultant said it was important to show in sheer numbers how many people want to oust President Trump and what they see as a corrupt and immoral administration.

"I came out of the '60s and I'm watching stuff that I thought we would never have to deal with again," Stith said. "I can't sit on the sidelines."

Saturday's pre-election event was a special edition of the annual Women's March that's taken place since Trump took office in 2017. Many condemned
Trump's pick of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barrett's confirmation would give the court a six-justice conservative majority.

Stith said it was no use fighting Barrett's confirmation by a Republican-majority Senate. Her hope is that Democrats will turn over the Senate and work to add more justices to the bench.

"What that number is, I don't know, but we can't live with a conservative bench like this," Stith said.

The march started at Pershing Square and wound its way to City Hall. Towards the front of the group were protesters dressed as red-cloaked characters from the dystopian novel, "The Handmaid's Tale." Many in the group fear that Barrett will set back women's reproductive rights by decades if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

"We are not your property, we are not your breeders, we choose who we love!" the handmaids intoned.

On the steps of City Hall, organizers asked protesters to call out the names of people who unjustly lost their lives in 2020.

Breonna Taylor! Dijon Kizee! The crowd shouted.

Taking the megaphone, Michelle Xai of the group Refuse Fascism said that it's critical to keep up massive, non-violent protests in the streets through the election.

"Yes, we have to vote and we have to turn out and vote in big numbers," Xai said. "But voting alone is not enough."

Saturday's event drew many young women, including Isabella Santana of La Puente. She had asked her parents if she could spend her 13th birthday at the Women's March.

The Santana siblings came to Saturday's protest at the urging of Isabella (far right) who was celebrating her 13th birthday. (Josie Huang/LAist)

"I want to see women being able to have their own choices," Santana said. "I want to have systemic racism be abolished."

She was joined by her 16-year-old sister, Sophia, who was frustrated that she would not be able to vote in the upcoming election. Sophia was trying to find other ways to help — by convincing seniors at her high school to head to the polls and by attending protests like Saturday's.

"We're using our rights by coming out here and protesting" Sophia Santana said. "If not, how are we going to be heard?"