Last Saturday, I attended Downtown Los Angeles’s Women’s March with my friend. It was the first protest that I attended, and it went beyond my expectations.
I originally wasn’t planning to go because I dislike crowds and felt that the protest’s message was vague and full of empty sentiments. My mind changed once I arrived at the train station to travel to Pershing Square.
The train station at North Hollywood was crowded with individuals holding signs protesting the president and strikes against reproductive health care, LGBTQ rights, and education. This was my crowd, the crowd that I missed since I graduated college over six years ago.
At the train station, I saw elementary teachers I worked with at my previous job, and it surprised me. I didn’t expect people from my mainly conservative town to come and march. It was great to see familiar faces who had similar concerns.
When I went on the train, it was the fullest then it has ever been. It reminded me when I rode on the subway in New York and when I rode the Muni in San Francisco. People crammed up against each other, but no one complained. They made friends and had conversations about the current government and state affairs. I had conversations with two girls who moved to California for acting and another lady who traveled the world. It was relaxing and enjoyable.
The march in itself was chill. There were a few people who sat on top of bus stops and storefronts, but no one was spitting or rioting against each other. I saw security guards taking pictures on their phone and chatting peacefully with the protesters.
At a bridge overlooking the freeway, protestors encouraged drivers to honk if they saw them. My friend and I were soon invited to do the same. We did it a few times and laughed before we trotted off to find food and coffee.
It was a great day and not only did I attend a protest that fought for beliefs that I held deeply, but I also got to the spend time with my friend. Two priceless things.