Story and video by Ford Fischer with reporting by Alejandro Alvarez
Sexual assault. Income inequality. Workplace discrimination. Trump. These were the biggest issues that most frequently came up in the enormous Los Angeles Women’s March. Check out this raw, up-close video look at the participants.
The mayor estimated that 500,000 people participated this year. KTLA-5, which had a helicopter view estimated 400,000.
High profile celebrities including Natalie Portman, Laverne Cox, and Olivia Munn joined what might have been the largest Women’s March nationwide in downtown Los Angeles, a city in the spotlight amid a backlash against sexual assault and harassment in the entertainment industry.
Although the Los Angeles Police Department does not release official crowd estimates, one account from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti put the total attendance at 600,000 – a number which would dwarf even the original DC march, which yielded an estimated turnout of 400,000.
“No one and nothing can be great unless it costs you something,” actress Viola Davis said, speaking to crowds near City Hall after a march to Grand Park from Pershing Square. “We’ve got to bring up everyone with us. I stand in solidarity with all women who raise their hands … and my hope for the future is that we never go back.”
Despite the large crowd sizes, the event only managed to attract less than a dozen pro-Trump counter protesters. Guarded by four times as many policer officers, they exchanged harsh words with participants.
One rather unexpected development was the popularity of Oprah as a political icon at the march. Some held signs referring to her as “Hope-rah” while others simply chanted “Oprah 2020!”
News2Share also teamed up with Fifth Column News’ Justin King to produce an exclusive interview clip with Ani Zonneveld. Via The Fifth Column:
To many Americans, there are stereotypes about Muslims. One of the most common is the belief that Muslims share a single united set of ideological or political beliefs. Those who believe this, most often believe that single set of beliefs is rooted in Sharia law.
This journalist had the opportunity to interview a human rights activist at the recent march in Los Angeles. She has spent years attempting to warn people about the dangers of Sharia law and to protect people from the dangers of ideologies like it. Her organization supports interfaith, interracial, and gay marriages. It also supports ethnic, gender, sectarian, and sexual minorities.
The activist’s name is Ani Zonneveld. Her organization is Muslims for Progressive Values. Yes, you read that correctly, Muslims in support of practices that are controversial to the American ring-wing. Ani’s organization makes a case for a difference between Sharia and Sharia Law. She actively speaks out for those whose voices go unheard or are in a country where they can’t speak freely.
Today Zonneveld added what might be a huge wrinkle for those determined to paint all Muslims with the same brush.
“We do not need an American Christian Sharia Law, people. There’s no difference between Christians getting voted in based on their Christian values and legislating for the rest of us. That is the same BS as the Muslim Sharia Law.”