Why we marched: SCV residents join more than 700,000 people to march in downtown LA

Marchers walk down Broadway Street in downtown Los Angeles as they hold signs during the Women's March on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. Katharine Lotze/Signal

When they got to downtown Los Angeles on Saturday for the Women’s March, the Walker family didn’t even need directions to Pershing Square. They just followed the crowds.

“There were people just coming from everywhere,” Dawn Walker said.

The Walkers were among many Santa Clarita residents who trekked to downtown Los Angeles on Saturday to participate in the Women’s March.

Juliet Walker, left, Dan Walker, center, and Fynn Walker, right, pose for a photo during the Women’s March in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Dawn Walker

Organizers estimate that around 750,000 people attended the event, which was held in conjunction with marches across the United States and the world. According to the Women’s March LA website, the group’s goal was to demonstrate support for the protection of women’s rights, as well as the rights of others.

Post-election, Dawn Walker said she and her family were feeling isolated. But seeing how many turned out to march made Dawn and her family feel stronger.

“I feel empowered to do something about how I feel,” she said.

Dawn’s 16-year-old son Fynn is transgender, and the family has concerns about his rights under the new administration, she said.

Fynn and 13-year-old sister Juliet were just going along with their mom at first, however, that all changed once they arrived.

Once Fynn caught a glimpse of a sign that read “Trans lives matter,” he thought, “Oh hey, that’s me!” By Monday afternoon, he was still shocked by the atmosphere of the march.

Fynn recalled that, before his transition, he was treated differently, and noticed that other women were too, particularly when they spoke up for themselves. Now, identifying as male, he still winces when he hears a joke about menstruation, and speaks up to say it’s not funny.

“They’re surprised to hear I’m such a feminist,” Fynn said.

Marchers hold signs as they look up to a helicopter flying over head as they make their way to Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday. Katharine Lotze/Signal

For Fynn, it wasn’t a question of why he was marching.

“It’s like why wouldn’t you march?” he said. “I support all the people Donald Trump doesn’t.”

Chad Kampbell, of the Santa Clarita Democratic Alliance for Action (DAA), said the march wasn’t specifically against the new administration, but said voicing support for women’s rights, including pay equity and a woman’s right to choose, is more important now than ever.

“We thought it was important to stand up and be counted as part of this particular movement,” he said. Kampbell also attended the march, along with about a 30 others from the DAA.

Philip Germain, founder of Santa Clarita Valley United for Progress (SCVUP), noted the diversity of the crowd of what was only supposed to be 50,000 people, according to march registrations prior to the event.

Germain said he was marching for the women in his life, as well as in defense of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which benefits Germain and his family. Germain said SCVUP plans to become more active now, post-inauguration, after it saw a membership boost.

“We may be represented by all republicans, but we stand with you still,” he said. “Our voices will not be quieted.”



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