The crowd marched from Palmer Avenue to Carlin Street, carrying flameless candles and signs chanting, "Our children aren't for sale," down a stretch of the boulevard frequented by pimps and their customers to buy and sell young girls.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas together with Long Beach Councilman Steven Neal and Mayor Aja Brown of Compton organized the march to end sex trafficking and prostitution in the area.
"We are marching tonight to shine a light in the darkness and let these men know we see them," said Ridley-Thomas.
Among the protesters was D’Lita Miller, an activist who told KCAL9 she was sold into prostitution at 15.
"I’ve walked this path, and look at me now. I like to say that I was a victim, then I became a survivor and now I’m a leader," Miller said.
The march was also a call to enact tougher fines and penalties against those convicted of human trafficking including pimps and customers. Ridley-Thomas
"What we call prostitution is really sex trafficking," said Ridley-Thomas. "It is the adults who buy and sell these children who are the criminals."
In August, 2013 officers Los Angeles County Sheriffs Compton station rescued two young girls forced into prostitution. One girl was found in a motel in Artesia and the other was in South Los Angeles home; both girls were from out of state. Four men and a woman were arrested and faced possible conspiracy to commit human trafficking, false imprisonment and sex crimes against children charges.