Women's March Los Angeles 2019
Saturday, January 19th,2019
It seemed as though it was just a blink since the first and second Women's Marches had occurred. So much had happened to the U.S and the world since the impetus for the Marches' beginning was elected to the the office of President of the United States.
We had gone through the Kavanaugh appointment to the Supreme Court, had seen The Trump administration lose member after member to charges of corruption in it's first two years.. We had witnessed the maturation of the “ Me Too” movement and it's wake of indictment of the practices of severe sexism in the American workplace. We had seen a reawakening in America of women just wanting the simplest of things; the right to have a hassle free workplace environment and equal pay for the same caloric output of their male coworkers.
The right to do an excellent job for which they were hired free from nonwork related male generated issues and BS.
We had seen the flowering of a newly elected women's' contingency in the house of representatives.
Now a quarter of Congress were women !
Once more at 9:30 am or so I ventured over to Pershing Square and heard that roar again. It was the same one from the other two marches except this time I noticed that it had an almost masculine force. If I had heard this sound at the beginning of a battle like Gettysburg I would have been put on notice...a trans formative change was coming. It was deep and committed. Since my politics view the new Women's movement in a thoroughly positive light ; I wasn't frightened.
I feel that roar would have made the Donald's and the Harvey's of this America lose control of their cocksuredness. It was the sound of the funeral drum for sexist crime but conversely the sound of a grand confirmation of Women's rights in the U.S and eventually this world.
It was the roar of a long awaited common sense.
As I stood there letting the sound wash over me, it also filled my veins with the moment and I went into the crowd to shoot pictures and record a special historical day.
I saw so many amazing women. There were women of every color, age, education level, profession and income.
Smiles and gazes of satisfaction, unity and common sense were everywhere that I looked.
I didn't see the division that the corporate media folks were constantly harping on. There weren't any obvious Farrakhan supporters anywhere evident.
No one was arguing, only commiserating. It felt like church.
I saw so many men of every age supporting their wives, daughters and coworkers. This may sound suspect as to my disposition but none of the men that I saw looked in any way docile or emasculated.
There were an awful lot of very masculine dudes present.
There were lot's of pointed attacks on the 45th president and his minions policies. The Pandora's box the President had unleashed with his classless profanities were still being stridently reflected back at him,Loud and Clear. His abusive approach to immigration was rightfully demonized, while his whole political approach to science and global warming was widely routed and mocked among the protesters.
Trans women were lightly represented in the crowd but heavily supported by the speeches from the stage. And as those rhetorical flourishes were spoken the crowd roared again and again in favor of full inclusiveness. They also spoke of the high murder rate against trans women worldwide.
I have covered protests in LA for awhile now and this was the only time I ever cried. Just a few tears but it hit me as to what I was actually witnessing.
Here was an actual political change for the better in real time. The American Dream Machine was still functioning.
It was still chugging along, perfect in it's imperfection. As the great subconscious conscience of America had done many times before, the social franchise was expanding and embracing those whom it had previously viciously disenfranchised .
Because of these determined women I felt awash in a new and potent patriotism.
This progress is probably what my ancestors had been talking about after the revolutionary war, after the civil war or the two world wars. This is what my grandmother Lila had been hoping for as she and her “ Ladies Home Bureau members wrote letters to Wilson pressing for the women's franchise.
This rush is what my father Charles must have felt after the 1964 Civil Rights bill while pursuing his own work in Buffalo, New York to get government jobs for an ignored African American population so they could move to the middle class.
This is why my grandfather Vernon raised the flag without fail daily at sunrise on his farm in Warsaw, New York. His only son had volunteered in WW2 and was killed in the Battle of The Bulge.
But The New Deal had allowed us to keep the farm in 1938.
He still raised that flag......daily.
This is why my grandmother Mamie refused to move to the back of the damn bus in South Carolina years before Rosa Parks made her brave moves.
Hope for full inclusion in the franchise.....yup
I did not pay much attention to the stage and it's speakers. The real story was in the crowd.
Almost everyone was smiling.
Progress had been made.
And now there was more work to be done.
Robert Stuart Lowden
Enjoy the pictures !
It was an honor to take them.
A note on the photography.
There are 7 sets and each set has the same body of text.
*I try to shoot the portrait or the momentary stories in a protest, not just the signs or the crowd.
I want my imaginary conservative viewer in another land who feels that Californians have few issues worth noting to reconsider their dismissal. If you can see a persons face and their spirit of the moment you may begin to understand why those distressed folks are out in the street pleading their case in the first place.