Los Angeles Women’s March

On Saturday January 21st we peacefully marched the streets of Los Angeles together with 750 thousand other women, kids , feminists and women supporters.

This is us, The Love & Noise Orchestra, marching the streets of LA: Whose streets? Our Streets!

The band was founded by mollY Allis. Participants are: Kira, Alexis, Isaac, Melissa, Barb Noren, Dave Muller, myself and many more to join in!

SEE YOU LATER!

Women’s March Los Angeles, January 21st 2017

Report: Claudia Borgna

I am getting ready for Monday President’s Day march. Will it be as magical as the Women’s march?

During fall my friend Molly had been talking about starting up a marching band. I was one of the people who enthusiastically encouraged her idea.

One day I received her email inviting a bunch of us to meet in Elysian Park for a first rehearsal! I was so excited! Not only because I like Molly and want to support her project, but also I’ve never been part of a musical band before; equally importantly, I am also a woman, an environmentalist, an immigrant, a same-sex, newly-wed, gender -fluid being and a person seeking justice for all.

It is for all these reasons that I felt that I had to get out there, out in the public, to claim back the land, the public space, the streets, to contribute to the visibility of the millions of people, voicing them self out, with their body-presence, not just with written words.

I had been thinking, wanting to get out of my “safe zone” for a while. Not having a car, or a cell phone, and living on the West side of Los Angeles is a paralyzing condition. The issue of planned urban injustice added to my frustration. Poor public transportation and poor night-street –life (or street life just in general) limits the freedom of women, once again confined in their homes.

Molly’s idea was just great! I had no excuses, not even my mum’s worried reaction. All fears, even of a terrorist attack, were washed away by the idea of marching shielded by the protecting sound of music!

With trepidation I attended our first rehearsal. I could barely contain my excitement. During the following sessions, the uncontainable childish joy, made up for my absolute and total ignorance in the language of notes and lyrics. Joy and excitement made up for an undisciplined screechy voice and for the untrained, off –beat metallic bangs, of my $1 Target triangle set and of the two kitchen spoons I beat to a flat shape during the march.

But I could contribute to the band in some other way instead! Being a visual artist I created ten golden capes and bullhorns to visually echo our chants. “Girls just wanna fun-damental rights!” was one of them.

With few tips gathered at Bronwyn’s protest class, I was prepared. Name and phone number written on a piece of paper, few dollars in my pocket and I was ready to go!

All capes and bullhorns finished, late the night before I set the alarm for the next morning: 7am, and boom I was already out of bed running to catch the Expo line.

On my early-bird walk to the train station people were unusually out and about, carrying chants and protests signs. I realized I had to rush even more to get to my appointment with the rest of the band. Nine o’clock, Spring and 5ht, right by the last Book Store, am I ever going to make it?

I could not believe all these Santa Monicans in my way, crowding the train station, clogging the tickets machine, lines everywhere!

Fuck the ticket, I thought, I am not going to stand in line and get late for my band. I squeezed through as gently and politely as I could. My enormous blue Ikea bag full of capes and bullhorns banging left and right, but I manage to get closer to the landing platform. I was in front, the train coming, the tension rising, the car doors opening.

I managed to squash inside, the first and last one to get in the cereal box like carriage. Unbelievable, not even during London’s rush hours have I ever experience that. No air, no space, not even for one breath. Two kids heroically sitting on top of my fee, at each stop more and more people, crowding at the platforms, all pushing, wanting to come in. Bodies starting to juice up, pouring their essence with jokes, good spirits and laughter. An hour into the journey few complaints broke the fatigue induced silence.

Some cannot take the heat and jump off at the next station. The rest is grasping for that brief little opening of air with anticipation. There is no air, no ventilation, no windows, inside the steaming train, all standing, up, supporting each other at every rude stop. Our minds put up with the bodily torture. The train is getting slower and slower, are we getting closer? It’s now 9 o’clock already. Shit, I am going to be late!

One hour and thirty minutes of mental strategizing later, I decided. I had to get off, before my last stop. I had to run it!

I jump off and run. From Pico all the way to 5th and Spring, all the way to 9:30 when I recognize my band, I thought I will never see them, standing at the corner, there. What a relief, I have made it! I am here with another 50 thousand people!

I distribute my capes and bullhorns, to everybody, even to one homeless man who silently joined the band chanting in his new shiny bullhorn all the way to City Hall. No words were exchanged, no rehearsals, only the inner mutual agreement of belonging, walking beside each other.

Marching started off slowly, barely moving at all, muffled by people, all around. Bit by bit Molly’s drum shook the air up, and the crowd opened the way for the music to flow through. It was amazing! We chanted at the top of our lungs, screechy or not, from bottom to top of our cords. The glittery capes shined us together: we could not miss each other. Late band members found our shine, heard our sound amidst the sea of colours and banners. We could not see but just feel the enormous crowd. Some joined our chats, danced our music, play their instruments, together we marched!

We were inside of a giant river flowing its stream and we just had to let go. No more control, just flow with the flow, stream all the way to City Hall.

It was 12:00 or even 12:30 when we reached the final destination. Once we got there “a-word-of-mouth” informed us that we should go back to make room for the water arriving behind us, and so we did: step to the side and said goodbye for the rest of the river to reach its goal.

The way back home was another incredible four hours journey. What a day! Will I ever be able to process all the energy, the feelings, the emotions of all the 75.000 bodies, being all-together-at-once?

water_water_0815 (1)-page-001