Opening the rally with songs from the Industrial Workers of the World and concluding with a nonviolent march, close to five hundred people walked to support valuing women’s work and women’s lives. The event encompassed a wide spectrum of interconnected o issues: migrant labor, the drug war in Columbia, women and prisons, oppression of gender expression, and wages for housework. Central to the activists’ demands was the notion that women’s work has value, that at its core women’s issues are labor issues. Some of these demands included wages for all work, including caring work, abolition of Third World debt, paid maternity leave, accessible housing and transportation and clean water.
“Money for women and children is money for the people of the world,” said one activist, “[but as domestic care workers] our lives are seen as worthless.”
Based on the signs, banners and puppets demonstrators carried in the march, it appeared most people were not representing organizations, but rather supported or showed their disagreement with certain issues. A common message disagreed with welfare reform. Puppets were images to get a point across. Colorful and festive, they represented a grandmother and a mother with a child. As in previous events, the activists’ upbeat determination was a direct contrast to the LAPD’s show of force at each intersection.
About halfway through the march’s route, the women’s march converged with the youth march on Third and Spring Streets in front of the Ronald Reagan building. For a few minutes, the people in both marches were surrounded on three sides by police, who stepped in in greater numbers to protect the Ronald Reagan building. However, the tension subsided as demonstrator proceeded further on the march’s route.