Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday afternoon, demanding reform to U.S. immigration policies and an end to the current structure of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Families Belong Together march in Log Angeles was one of hundreds happening nationwide.
Hundreds of children accompanied their parents to the rally, waving flags that demanded the end to the separation of immigrant families at the U.S. border.
Participant Narukah Serrano listened tearfully as singer-songwriter John Legend called for an end to apathy and encouraged all those present to take action against current immigration policies. Legend, in attendance with his wife model Chrissy Teigen, later performed his new song, ''Preach,'' which reiterated his message.
Tahdi Blackstone, a member of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, attended the protest as part of her continued efforts to encourage young adults to vote out current policies and administrators. ''My only hope are the students and the young people,'' Blackstone said.
Many participants wore decorated clothing in addition to carrying signs in order to demonstrate their support for immigrants and refugees entering the U.S.
Protesters actively engaged in one of the many chants encouraged by speakers, such as Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Maxine Waters and actress Laverne Cox. Water’s cry, ''We’re better than this!'' met with resounding cheers and shouts of agreement.
Child actress Cali DiCapo joined her mother and older brother in protest. Participants dressed in white as an act of unity against what they deemed an assault on the innocence of children and families.
Mothers Joy McMaster and Hillary Crowe listened as various speakers detailed the events occurring at the border. According to McMaster and Crowe, their greatest difficulty has been getting other mothers who have not been personally affected by U.S. immigration policies to understand and care about those families who are currently in crisis.
Sisters Sophie and Alexandra Rivasplata join their friend Maya Aga in support of immigrant families. Though not currently affected by the U.S. immigration crisis, the Rivasplata sisters said their mother’s immigration from Argentina made this fight a personal one for them.
Protestors surrounded Downtown Los Angeles and marched in front of the city hall. Participants hoped to spread awareness and encourage action among those not in attendance by filling sidewalks, standing atop platforms and hanging signs on freeway overpasses.