It was deja vu all over again for Candice Bergen this weekend. “Bell bottoms are back!” the former “Murphy Brown” star declared Sunday, when she attended her first march on Washington since Vietnam. “I’m having all these flashbacks. Everything is back.”
Everyone was back, too, reports PEOPLE, as an onslaught of Hollywood’s veteran activists – including Susan Sarandon, Cybill Shepherd, Whoopi Goldberg, Sheryl Crow, Julianne Moore, Camryn Manheim and Carole King – and their families descended upon the nation’s capital to support the pro-choice March for Women’s Lives.
Ashley Judd, a women’s rights supporter since her teens, marched with friends despite a broken leg. Sporting a mini-T-shirt that read, “This is what a feminist looks like,” Judd dragged her cast across the stage and addressed the hundreds of thousands of people blanketing the lawn that stretches from the U.S. Capitol to the White House.
“It’s an awesome exercise in freedom of speech and freedom to assemble,” Judd, 36, told PEOPLE backstage. “I was marching with my great friends. And hundreds of women who I have met in the past few months who told me they couldn’t be coming today asked if I would represent them in spirit, and I’m very proud to do so.”
“I think its an amazingly fascinating time in our history; that women are not realizing the rights they are losing to choose and also the freedom of their own bodies,” Sheryl Crow, 42, told PEOPLE. “Since Bush has been in office, we’ve almost completely undermined Roe vs. Wade.”
To emphasize what things were like before the days of pro-choice, Whoopi Goldberg appeared on stage with a wire hanger in hand.
Bergen, 57, told PEOPLE that if she could get just one thing out of marching on Sunday, “I’d like to influencing the next Supreme Court nominee.”
In a moment of onstage fervor, actress-writer Kathy Najimy, 47, pulled a Janet Jackson – lifting her shirt to flash the crowd (though she wore a black lace bra underneath), and shouted, “My people! All y’all been so patient listening to the people and the information, and it’s the biggest march in the history of the universe – I think you deserve a little treat.”
With crowd estimates ranging from 750,000 to 1.15 million, the 1,400 groups that organized the march called the day a success.
Amy Brenneman, 39, who was marching on Washington for the first time, said, “its so much fun. It’s amazing. It’s like a beautiful wave.”