It was an unusually large crowd for the event, in no small part because of the Trump administration’s sweeping changes to immigration policy that have fomented fierce dissent and antagonism.
One of those marchers was Evelin, a 17-year-old Mexican-American Angeleno who marched for her mother, an undocumented resident of California who has lived in the United States for nearly two-and-a-half decades.
“I’ve watched people, especially younger ones, disrespect my mom my whole life,” Evelin says, “just because she doesn’t have papers. It makes me really sad.”
Evelin is scared of this presidential administration in particular, which has made it a mission to detain and deport even the immigrants who have not committed any crimes. For that reason, Evelin says, conversations about what would happen if her family is separated aren’t rare.
She’s thankful for her older siblings, who are over 18, and who she’d live with in the event that her mother was deported.
And though the spirit of the march was one of a raucous block party — bachata music buzzing through the streets, dozens of steamy grills peppering sidewalks — it wasn’t a scene of complete togetherness.
Pro-Donald Trump (and anti-immigration) protestors gathered along Spring Street to heckle immigrants, shouting that they should “go back to [their] own country” and accept how “ugly” they are. “We Are the Champions” blared from a set of speakers as the protestors taunted that the nativists “had won.”
City police officers formed a barricade to prevent physical altercations from occurring.
The activists, undeterred, screamed back: “Aqui estamos, y no nos vamos”: We’re here, and we’re not going anywhere.