Los Angeles Women’s March 2018: Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Viola Davis Lead Crowd

Viola Davis, Scarlett Johansson, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and other celebs were among the thousands of people who took to downtown L.A. to march in protest of President Donald Trump and to call attention the #MeToo movement.

Coming a year after Trump’s inauguration, the Los Angeles Women’s March was one of many held coast-to-coast, including the Sundance Film Fest. The Los Angeles iteration was a star-studded event, drawing Eva Longoria, Marisa Tomei and Natalie Portman.

The march, which began at Pershing Square and ended at Grand Park, drew thousands of people with handmade signs. Many participants wore pink hats as a counter-symbol to Trump’s lewd remarks of grabbing women by the p—y. This year’s march comes amid the #MeToo movement, which calls attention to pervasive sexual harassment.

Johansson, representing the Time’s Up campaign, said that in recent months, she had begun examining why sexual harassment so frequently happens to women.  She had previously felt the need to be polite to the powerful in order to get along. “It allowed me to have the approval that women are conditioned to need,” she said. “But no longer.”

Her new motto is “no more pandering,” adding that she would no longer feel guilt or shame over rebuffing men who behave inappropriately towards her.

Viola Davis

Davis, last year’s Oscar-winning actress (“Fences”) asked protesters to become politically active and to put pressure on the government to work for all.  “It is through human dedication and effort that we move forward,” Davis declared to loud cheers. “And then when we don’t work, what happens is that time actually becomes an ally to the primitive forces of social stagnation. And the guardians of the status quo are in their oxygen tanks, keeping the old order alive.”

Mayor Garcetti, a potential presidential candidate in 2020, gave a speech highlighting the progress women have made in city government. He also took aim at Trump and his penchant for using social media.  “Mr. President, you have your tweets, but we own these streets,” Garcetti said.

Other celebrities who made appearances on stage included Allison Janney, Tony Goldwyn, Elizabeth Banks, Adam Scott, Mary Steenburgen and husband Ted Danson, Sarah Hyland, Mila Kunis, Eva Longoria, and Rob Reiner.

The people gathered at Grand Park came from all over the southland. They held signs that said, “Grab ‘em by the midterms.” Others read, “This is my resisting bitch face” and “voting is the best revenge.”