Marchers call for equality at the Women’s March

Feet stomped, drums played and the music motivated marchers onwards towards City Hall.

“How do we get out of this mess, Revolution nothing less,” the crowd chanted in tune as the proud group women and men vibrantly filled the streets.

Atop the hill, signs held by colorful individuals hung high in the air as a sea of people headed down the sloping avenue allowing every person to look down and see a large expanse of fellow protestors ahead of them.

With the sun shining brightly overhead, one could feel the passion radiating out of every marcher, as they gathered in solidarity to fight for women’s rights.

“So to all the little girls out there dream big, work hard, and do incredible things because you too will be next.

— Nury Martinez, Los Angeles City Councilwoman

This year marked the fourth anniversary of the Women’s March in Los Angeles and the 100th anniversary for women’s suffrage.

Thousands of people showed up Jan. 18 to show their support and various guest speakers and musicians took the stage in front of City Hall.

One of these speakers included Nury Martinez, the first Latina to become president of the Los Angeles City Council in 170 years.

She spoke of her goals as president and hopes for women to gain more positions of power in this governmental system. She promised to lead with a woman’s perspective that protects the working poor, women, and to foster youth in the city of LA.

Martinez’s fiery speech ended with a message for all young women who face any challenges.

“So to all the little girls out there dream big, work hard, and do incredible things because you too will be next,” she said.

Actress, author, and activist Marlee Matlin, best known for her breakthrough role in “Children of a Lesser God” and more recently as the mother of Emmet in “Switched at Birth,” captivated her audience.

Through her interpreter, she spoke of the deaf community and how people from all races, genders, and religions come together to make up the largest minority in the United States. She touched on the sensitive topic of inclusion that currently excludes women, especially from disabled backgrounds.

“But to watch the conversation about inclusion and diversity from our leaders, you would probably not even know we exist,” Matlin said.

She ended her speech by teaching the audience how to sign and left them with a sentiment inspiring to all.

“Despite what some people think, just because I am deaf does not mean I will not be heard,” Matlin said. “Silence is the last thing the world is ever going to hear from me.”

Angelica Salas spoke about the prominent issue of immigration. As a former undocumented immigrant herself and now the executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, Salas said she devotes her life to legally integrating immigrants into mainstream American society.

She spoke courageously about the struggles of Latina women, Muslim women, and all women immigrants from every race in need. She mentioned the discrimination these people face every day due to the negative stereotypes that surround them.

“Courageous women fight for their community so that it’s stronger and more vibrant, courageous women fight for their country so that there’s justice and equality for all,” Salas said. “So we have to be today, tomorrow, and on to the future. Mujeres ponderosas.”