UPDATED: Hundreds of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse survivors and their supporters turned out for the “Take Back the Workplace” and #MeToo survivors’ marches Sunday in Hollywood.
The event kicked off around 10 a.m. and featured several speakers who shared stories of why sexual abuse prevention matters in front of a red “Take Back the Workplace” banner.
“Silence no more!” shouted one speaker. Signs bore workplace-specific mottos like “Work it, don’t jerk it,” and more generic feminist mottos like “future is feminism.”
Tarana Burke, the original creator of the “Me Too” hashtag, led the effort and was the event’s featured speaker. The event started at Hollywood and Highland, attendees marched to the CNN building around 11 a.m. where a press conference took place. Between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., a rally was held back at Hollywood and Highland.
Weinstein accuser Lauren Sivan was present and gave a speech at the press conference. “This is 2017, and the time is ripe of a re-ordering of power,” she said. “You will no longer keep us quiet or label us gold-diggers or psychos. We want our daughters and sons to be able to go to a workplace and never have to take a meeting with a dude in a bathrobe. They will never have to choose to put out or keep their job.”
“For every Harvey Weinstein, there’s a hundred more men in the neighborhood who are doing the exact same thing,” Burke said in advance of the event. “The conversation around harassment in Hollywood will broaden to include other industries if we force it to.”
Actress Estefania Rebellon emceed the event, with SAG-AFTRA National board member Frances Fischer on hand as well, in addition to Chelsea Byers, chair of the Campaign to End the Statute of Limitations on Rape and Sexual Assault..
Other speakers at the rally included lead organizer Brenda Gutierrez, writer and media commentator Jasmyne Cannick, activists Aleesha Barlow, Jayda Rasberry, Ivy Quicho, Samuel Lloyd — who is the best friend of Gemmel Moore, a black male escort who was found dead this summer in prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck’s West Hollywood apartment — and activist/community organizer Hussain Turk.