Thousands expected to gather in DTLA for Women's March Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (FOX 11 / CNS) - As many as 150,000 people, including about five dozen celebrities, are expected to rally in downtown Los Angeles Saturday in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington.
Event organizers for the Women's March-Los Angeles say the day is designed to unify communities and make a stand for "justice and equity for all.''
The mission statement for the march reads in part, ``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.''
Organizers stress that the event is non-partisan and not a protest, but a "celebration of human rights.''
However, the Washington, D.C., march that sparked local "sister'' marches like the one in Los Angeles was deliberately planned for the day after President Donald Trump's inauguration. And many of the individuals and groups planning to participate stand in opposition to Trump and his policies as laid out on the campaign trail and during his transition to office.
"In a time when we are all wondering what we can do, we can do this ... let them hear our voice!'' march organizer Deena Katz said in a statement.
Locally, Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda, Natalie Portman, Kerry Washington, Alfre Woodard, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Jamie Lee Curtis and Laverne Cox are among the celebrities slated to take part, according to event coordinators.
Public officials will also be out in force, with many scheduled to speak before and after the approximately one-mile march from Pershing Square to City Hall, set to begin at 10 a.m.
In a sign that the rally is far from a women-only event, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Councilmen Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin and former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are all expected to offer words of encouragement to the crowd.
"Women's rights are human rights,'' organizer Emiliana Guereca said.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn is planning to attend.
"I am marching Saturday because I want to show my support for the millions of Americans who continue to believe that we should be a nation that respects and supports everyone whether they are a woman, a man, an immigrant, gay, straight, trans, poor or Muslim,'' Hahn said. ``We need to lead by example and fight to make Los Angeles County a model for the nation.''
As of midday Friday, 84,000 people had indicated they would attend and another 72,000 expressed interest in attending, according to the event's Facebook page. Metro officials have added service and beefed up security to accommodate the anticipated crowd.
Groups backing a wide variety of policy priorities are expected to join, and at least one group has scheduled its own alternate ending to the day. AF3IRM and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network is set to leave the main march at noon and lead a ``Chant Down the Walls'' action at the Metropolitan Detention Center.
Women's March LA may also draw pro-Trump protesters, but organizers are committed to maintaining the peace. They took to Twitter Friday to offer what will likely be one of many reminders to those planning to attend.
"Do not rise to provocation; if asked bullying or intimidating or inciting questions, don't engage,'' the tweet read.
The gathering is expected to end at 4 p.m.
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