NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Big crowds gathered in north and south Louisiana as part of women’s marches worldwide Saturday to protest President Donald Trump’s policies and focus public attention on issues ranging from sexual harassment to immigration.
On the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, men, women and children participated in the marches and rallies. In Shreveport-Bossier City, protesters gathered downtown at the Caddo Parish Courthouse. In New Orleans, they converged on green space near City Hall.
“To put it bluntly, things haven’t gotten better since President Trump took over. They’ve actually gotten worse,” said Marcia Lane, an organizer for Women’s March New Orleans. “We’ve seen rights being taken away in terms of the travel ban and treatment of people of color and immigrants. We’ve seen anti-abortion supporters being put into positions of power. We’ve seen policies put in place that penalize the lower-middle class worker.”
Dora Lambert, the Louisiana administrator for the movement, said they hope such organizing will “help effect change by getting people to the polls.”
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New Orleans Mayor-elect Latoya Cantrell and former state Rep. Helena Moreno, now a member of the City Council, were among the speakers at the rally in Duncan Plaza where participants carried signs reading “Organize. Agitate. Educate. Vote,” “Rise Up Women” and “The Future is Female.”
The rallies are designed to encourage and empower people to support women’s rights, human rights, civil rights, and social and environmental justice; and to encourage participation in 2018 midterm elections.
Last year, events also focused on voter education.