11 People Told Us Why They Went To The Day Without A Woman Rally In Los Angeles

A Day Without A Woman protests took place all over the country on March 8. Mitú was in downtown Los Angeles to talk to protesters to find out why they were there and what woman inspired them the most in life. Here is what they told us.

Carlos Heredia, 34

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“[I’m here] because I grew up watching my mom be beat up and my sisters taken advantage of because they’re women. Us as men need to stand up and protect women,” Heredia told mitú.

He added: “My mom [inspires me the most] because no matter what hardship she went through she is an example of strength and a mother’s love. Whether it was washing tables or cleaning up somebody else’s feces, she worked hard so her kids could have. I’ve seen her go nights without sleeping just so her children can have.”

Wendy Carrillo, 36, Congressional Candidate

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“I’m here today because it is International Women’s Day and also A Day Without A Woman and I think now more than ever women need to stand up against an administration that cares very little about women’s rights or immigrants or LGBTQ folks or refugees. So, this is a moment when we take our place in history,” Carrillo told mitú.

“My mother inspires me the most,” Carrillo continued. “She is courageous and powerful and unapologetic and it is only through my own growing up and becoming a woman myself that I;m able to recognize her struggle and sacrifice that she did when she was much younger than what I a now.”

Veronica Peña, 36

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“I’m her because I’m a woman and I feel like there is so much work that needs to be done. I’m looking at my daughter and I want her to have more than I have I want her to live with the same rights, the same energy and the same authority that men have in this country. I want her to think nothing less of herself and until then I will keep fighting,” Peña told mitú.

“I would have to say there is actually a group of women,” Peña added. “I just moved her from Chicago and I played with Diesel Daisies and these women have been through the sixties and seventies and the eighties and they have imparted in me the courage and the responsibility and as lesbian, as a mother, as a woman to continue this fight. I would have never felt this drive to fight if it wasn’t for these women who’ve been fighting for decades and decades.”

Maria Jose Jimenez, 18

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“I just feel like it’s important for women to empower each other, especially right now after what happened with the election and all the immigration issues that are going on. Women are more afraid to speak up so I feel like this day is important just to let them know that we’re here and we’re supporting each other. It’s just an important day,” Jose Jimenez told mitú.

“I would say my mom,” Jose Jimenez continued while pointing to her mom. “My mom is really tough. She’s always supporting me in what I want to do. If I have a crazy idea she says, ‘Do it.’ She’s never said no or set a limit to me so I feel like that important and that we should all have that mind set that we can do anything.”

Diana Lopez, 44

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“I’m here to support my hermanas. Following in the spirit of adelitas, I’m trying to use my freedom of being a woman born in this country to help and represent the women around the world come up, find equality, have their voices heard on every and any level. What I would want to share with all my hermanas is to help each other no matter how big or how small. Whether you have power or the finances to back the campaign or contribute or just mentoring someone at work or teaching your daughters that they are powerful and mighty,” Lopez told mitú.

“My mother grew up in a time where women were really pushed to the side and weren’t really allowed to speak up, especially in our culture. She resisted and she persevered and she raised my sisters and me to have the force within us and not let anyone push us aside.”

Adrian Lopez, 17

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“I’m here because I want to be that person that can give a voice to all the people that are oppressed by the society that we are living in today. I’m here for my sisters and y mom because my mom is an immigrant and came here for a better life and thanks to that I’m living a life that allows me to give a voice to the people who don’t have one,” Lopez told mitú.

“I feel like I speak for everyone when I say that our mother’s were there for us. They gave birth to us and literally gave us our lives,” Lopez continued. “Thanks to that, I want to be here to support her and give her her rights. She works day and night but she doesn’t get equal pay and I want that for her.”

Valeria Dimas, 34

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“I think it is important that we strive to keep the rights that women have fought for. Our right to vote, Planned Parenthood, the right to free choice of our body, the right to equal pay. I’m here today to keep the movement going because I want my god-children to be raised in a world where they can do anything and be anything and their rights are still there,” Dimas told mitú.

Dimas added: “The women of my family. I come from a line of strong Latina women who fought for their own rights in their families. They didn’t want to be married off and they fought to marry who they wanted to marry and they came to America and fought for their families here. They are the strongest ones of our family.”

Kristina Garcia, 26

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“I’m here because I feel like it’s time to kind of show everyone that we’re serious and we need to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, we live in a time where, because we’re women, we’re seen as lesser than or incapable of certain things that others have just because they are male. I think it is time we stand up and band together and really make a statement about how we feel, what we deserve, and just not put up with it anymore. I just want equality. I don’t expect to be treated better or easier than a male. I just want to be treated the same,” Garcia told mitú.

“I’m inspired by the women that work at Planned Parenthood because I know what they deal with,” Garcia told mitú. “I see the hate and the judgement they face and, not just the people that work there, but the people who use their services and have to cross this picket lines. The fact the Planned Parenthood has to engage in volunteers just to escort people into their buildings just to use the services is just ridiculous.”

Leslye Lopez, 23

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“I am here because I want to stand up for my first-graders who are immigrant kids from immigrant families. I want to stand up for all the teachers and all the women who are unrepresented. For LGBTQ people and also, of course, women,” Lopez, who was there with her sister told mitú.

“Honestly, I would say the people I work with simply because they are underpaid and overworked and I see the struggles they have to face,” Lopez said. “They’re not getting what they need but they are still there and that’s why I’m here.”

Jacqueline Lopez, 20

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“I’m here because women are being treated unfairly. I feel that women have to fight against the wage gap. I am also trying to be a teacher so I am here for the future,” Lopez, Leslye’s sister, told mitú.

“I would say my mom because she is an immigrant and she has done so much for us and I feel like immigrants need to be represented more.”

Bianca Peralta, 23

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“I’m here to protest for equality. I am also here to protest for the #FreeTheNipple campaign. I don’t think it’s fair that men can go jog with their shirts off and a woman can’t breastfeed in public because it looks terrible. I’m here to promote that. I’m here for equality. I feel like after so many years that it’s time and I feel like we shouldn’t go down just because of Trump. I feel like we should band together and stay strong,” Peralta, with her brother Alexander, told mitú.

“Rosa Parks is very inspiring to me. Not only because she was a woman of color but because she was one of the first women to stand up to everybody. I feel like that is something courageous for her to do and I support that.”

READ: 11 Powerful Reasons Why People Protested For Immigrant Rights In Los Angeles This Weekend

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