About 5 lakh people turned out on Saturday morning (Jan. 21) for women’s march in Downtown L.A. In addition to what the coordinators’ estimate was a gathering of more than 750k people which includes celebrity speakers Miley Cyrus, Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand and Natalie Portman.
The L.A Times said that by the afternoon the gathering appeared to be as large as the 2006 immigration rights march which was one of L.A.’s biggest demonstrations ever. Madonna, Julia Roberts, Scarlett Johansson, Cher, Alicia Keys, Katy Perry, Amy Schumer, Julianne Moore, Jake Gyllenhaal and Gloria Steinem were just some of the celebs at the women’s march in Downtown L.A.
Public transportation was overwhelmed as many people waited hours to get on Metro trains, and restaurants were fully packed. “Today we speak out, but tomorrow we act out,” Mayor Garcetti told the gathering. Rage Against the Machine’s Brad Wilk did a stirring take on “Pride (In the Name of Love).” Helen did an acapella version of “I Am Woman.” Actress Alexandra Paul said she favored to be in the street with the marchers rather than sequestered in the VIP area. “I’m here to bolster the enlightening agenda,” she said.
Using explicit language on the rostrum at times, Madonna said that “no opposing force stands a chance in the face of true solidarity.” She asked the pack to repeat after her in unison: “Yes, we are ready.” Madonna posted a statement on social media on Sunday in response to the counterblast, saying she’s “not a violent person” and that people should go through the entire speech “rather than one phrase taken out of context.”
Miley Cyrus, who was there with a pack from her Happy Hippie Foundation, all dressed in bright yellow and black logo get-ups, took a comprehensive approach. “We don’t want to talk about change; we want to be the change,” she said.
Debbie Allen presented resplendent dance acts highlighting the beauty of women, while Thelma Houston got the crowd itself dancing to her disco hit “Don’t Leave Me This way,” which was dedicated to former President Barack Obama.
Despite the massive size, the women’s march in Downtown L.A. appeared to be peaceful and organized.