It is one thing to protest for equality within your own neighborhood, but it’s another when you take the march outside of the walls of the inner city. Thanks to new found organization ((WE)), thousands of students, activists and celebrities took to the streets in solidarity with Millions March. The protest was nothing less than peaceful.
They made their voices heard against police brutality, racism and in addition to demanding justice for Ezell Ford and the countless others who have been affected by police violence. Their primary mission was to unite and empower the people of Los Angeles and establish meaningful relationships through direct action.
This march was in alignment with that of the Millions March NYC Coalition, Ferguson Action, Million Hoodies, and other activist organizations. It was one of several marches held Saturday in major cities across the country.
The word spread like wild fire across social media regarding the Millions March in Los Angeles. Some were even skeptical about the event, because no one has heard of ((WE)) and figured the event was a “set up” since the organization got a permit for the size of their march and mentioned police being present. Despite the uproar of concerns, people still wanted to have their voices heard and the protestors met at Pan Pacific Park at noon.
As the crowd grew, ((WE)) organizers introduced themselves. ((WE)) is a group of collective individuals committed to creating a hub of sustainable change through purposeful collaborations that promote social justice and equality. Their team is comprised of community organizers, leaders, educators, students, artists, activists, and business professionals.
All of which were young, black and educated. ((WE)) is not an activist organization but rather a group of community involved leaders who are deeply affected by the injustices within our communities.
((WE)) began by hosting their first meeting of interested individuals on December 14, 2014. Two weeks later, they formulated this march to show solidarity with the #MillionsMarch movement. They reached out to organizers of #?MillionsMarchNYC as well as organizing groups in Ferguson, MO to receive direction and support.
Phase One of Millions March LA started with different talented individuals singing, reciting poetry, prayers and yelling chants. All of which prepared the protestors for the march. The march started at 2:00 p.m., at Pacific Pan Park, on Beverly. From there they moved forward to La Brea. The marchers headed south toward Wilshire and west toward Fairfax and back north toward Beverly where the march ended. The march lasted approximately three hours.
Protestor Jessica Rey mentioned keeping the power amongst the people is what is important.
“I came out, because I want to support the movement that has been happening. Particularly, for liberation, not just for institutional change via policy. We need institution change, but I want to support people power,” said Rey. She continued, “A lot of times we get the people out here and get everyone rallied and then we use that energy and give it back to the government. I want to support by keeping the people power with us.”
Long-time community activist, Tiffany Hobbs put in her efforts to the ((WE)) organization to help organize Saturday’s march. She shared some insight for Phase Two.
“Phase two is meant to implement our demands, specific list of demands. We want to get this list to our local council, local police agencies to ensure that systemic change occurs. This is not at all meant to be simply a march. ((WE)) want this to propel action and force through this organization and through these demonstrations, our local leaders to listen to our voices,” said Hobbs.
Although ((WE)) is not your ordinary activist group, they have plans to leave their mark within the community for the better. For more information about ((WE)) and future events, be sure to contact via email at MillionsMarchLA@yahoo.com or on social media @MillionsMarchLA.