Boyle Heights activists and community members joined separate marches on Friday and Saturday to protest the stated policies of Donald Trump, following his inauguration as 45th president of the United States.
On Friday –shortly after the inauguration– nearly 200 Boyle Heights residents joined a rally at Mariachi Plaza, in spite of heavy rain and wind. Organized by Centro CSO and other local organizations, protesters marched to join other groups at a large rally at downtown Los Angeles.
According to FightBack!News, students, undocumented immigrants and members of neighborhood groups joined in chants like “Say it loud, say it clear! Immigrants are welcome here!” and “Chicano! Power!” Organizers said marchers called for legalization not deportation; a defense of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order; no to guest-worker programs, and no to U.S. wars and occupations.
The web site reported that on the way downtown, marches stopped briefly in front of the Federal Building and LAPD headquarters, where they protested the large number of officer involved shootings that ended in fatalities in Boyle Heights last year.
According to laist.com, Boyle Heights activists joined thousands others from various Los Angeles neighborhoods which converged downtown in a large rally at City Hall. CSO organizer and longtime Chicano activist Carlos Montes told laist.com that the march represents Boyle Heights and East L.A. standing up for their rights, and “demanding respect and saying no to Trump’s racist attacks against our people.”
The laist.com piece was reported by Yazmín Nuñez, a former Boyle Heights Beat youth reporter.
On Saturday, Boyle Heights Beat reporters joined fellow members of the Building Healthy Communities – Boyle Heights community initiative at the Gold Line metro station at Mariachi Plaza, from where they travelled downtown to join the Women’s March LA.
Hundreds of thousands of angelenos participated in the festive, peaceful march from Pershing Square to City Hall, where they gather to hear speeches from elected officials like Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and County Supervisor Hilda Solís. Many carried signs with messages like “When Women Unite We Move Mountains” and chanting slogans like “This is What Democracy Looks Like” and “My Body My Choice,” in direct reference to statements made by Trump during and before his presidential campaign that were deemed to be misogynist, racist and anti-immigrant.
The Los Angeles march –which organizers said drew a crowd of up to 750,000 people– coincided with similar marches in major cities throughout the U.S., including Washington D.C. Various news reports indicated that the crowd at the D.C. march was three times the size of the previous day’s crowd at the Trump inauguration.