Judy’s Report on the Chicago Women’s March

Let’s take a break from our usual topics for some current events. Today Judy went to the Chicago Women’s March, which (with all the other marches that took place today) seems to have provided a much-needed morale boost for those of us not suffering from paranoid delusions or authoritarian personality disorder.

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The Chicago march turns out to have been the second biggest in the country, after DC. Organizers had an initial goal of 22,000, then 50,000. In the end, about 250,000 showed up. Not that we’re boasting or anything. Judy took all of these pictures with her phone. (Judy: At the moment LA is claiming to be bigger, but I refuse to believe that.)

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With a friend she took the train from the Howard Street L stop – the end of the line. The station was packed with people.

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From the first stop, the train was crammed with folks heading to the march. There are a lot of stops on the Red Line. On each one a few more squeezed in, but most were left on the platform waiting for the next train.

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Judy says there were so many people that you couldn’t hear the speakers or even see the speaker’s platform. They never even figured out where the speakers were.

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That was ok, though, as people enjoyed an almost carnival atmosphere and social solidarity. The weather was stunning — bright sun and almost 60 degrees.

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According to the news, the march part of the march was cancelled because of the size of the crowds. However, people seemed to march towards Grant Park, then back to the center of the Loop.

Impromptu chanting occurred along the way.

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Here’s the crowd out at Grant Park.

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Trump and his political thugs like to say that they represent “real” Americans, as opposed to the coastal elites. I just want to point out that Chicago is more or less in the middle of the country and without a coast, unless you count Lake Michigan.

I’ll let Judy have the last word.

Amazing crowd in Chicago, amazing spirit and energy and determination. I’ve been mesmerized by my Faceboook feed since I got home: reports and photos of huge marches in Boston; NYC; Montpelier, VT; Portland, Maine and Oregon; Seattle; Charleston, WV; Boise, ID; St. Louis; Houston and Austin; Madison; Nashville; and then internationally in Toronto, Antarctica (on a boat), Berlin, London, etc., etc. Oh, yeah, also in Washington, DC, where the crowd appears to have been bigger than the inaugural crowd. 

Now we just have to translate this into political action. Not what we usually post on the blog, but if you can make a few calls to your representative and senators, that would be very important. So many important things are at stake, call about whichever ones concern you the most. I’ll mention the one that is near and dear to me: Every person in this wealthy country of ours ought to have access to health care.The ACA is not perfect, but to repeal it without an adequate replacement would be outrageous. As a person who does political work for a living, I can tell you that calls to your members of congress really matter. That goes double if you live in a red state: call and ask them nicely but firmly not to take away the health care that our families, our neighbors, our friends, and our fellow Americans need. Remind them that you vote, and you are watching.

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And now back to the flowers! 

 

 

 

60 Comments on “Judy’s Report on the Chicago Women’s March”

  1. A contingent of Ruthless Readers left Elgin on the train this morning to take part in the march, as well. Hope to have picts to share tomorrow. Keep the Faith! (I’m showing my age-that’s from the 60’s.)

    • I hope their train wasn’t as crowded as our train – I was flabbergasted when we got on at the end of the line at Howard and the train was absolutely packed, no room for anybody to get on at any other stops.

  2. Judy, I recognize a sign in one of your pictures. I was perhaps only 10 or 15 feet away from you! What a remarkable experience. After 50 years of being in marches & peace demonstrations, this was certainly the largest.

    • I’ve done a lot of work in Kansas this year, so I know what you mean. But your calls to senators and Congressperson will be very important – mine are all pretty solid Democrats. I’m really convinced that we can slow some things down (especially on healthcare) by scaring red state Republicans about the backlash.

  3. Well done Judy & congratulations to Chicago for such a turnout … There are marches happening in all the major cities of Australia. There is a real sense of dispair in national leadership in so much of the world at the moment… But this is mobilising good people.

    • Horror pretty much covers it! My parents lived in Switzerland when Ronald Reagan was elected, and had to answer a million questions about what had gone wrong with Americans. In retrospect, that was very mild compared to the insanity of the current moment.

    • The weather in Chicago could not have been more magnificent – 60° and bright sunshine. (Of course it also makes us more worried about global warming, because that’s not the weather we’re supposed to be having.)

  4. A smaller version of the march here in Maine, and also two locations that held vigils ( Augusta the state capital and Brunswick, closer for some of us!). Thanks to Judy for attending a march on her end. Across the country, as so many walked and stood together, we are reminded of the power of voice, of non-violent demonstration, and solidarity. So important during these very unstable times. A deep bow to you, Judy, for taking action. Thank you.

    • Chicago really outdid itself, with 250,000 marchers. But I am finding myself just as thrilled reading on social media about all of the small places where people came out and made a statement. It’s so important to know it’s not just in the big cities and the solid blue states!

    • Fired up, and ready to go! I have been heartened to see that at least a few Republicans realize what a mess they would be making if they just repeal without any replacement. (A mess of the healthcare system, and a disaster in people’s lives.) Too soon to tell, but I really do believe that all of our voices matter.

  5. Thanks for the pictures and report from Chicago, Judy. We had a smaller march in the heart of the Bluegrass. Lexington, KY is a little blue dot in a sea of political red. 5,000 people showed up which is really quite remarkable. It was a morale-boosting experience. Let’s keep up the momentum!

    • Kentucky is such an important state for health care action! A lot of people benefited from the ACA there, and senators and representatives (and the new governor) need to hear that people don’t want it all taken away again. 5000 people is wonderful!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing Judy’s photos and narration. I have never been ashamed of my gender but these last two days I have felt an enormous swell of pride for my fellow women and anyone who stands with us in our hope for a better world. At 43 years of age, and growing up and still living in a small town in northeast Wisconsin, I have never experienced anything like this. It makes me proud to see my generation – and those before and behind us – stand up and fight for what is right and fair and deserved. My favorite sign in your photos was “I Can’t Believe I’m Still Protesting This Crap” – because I can’t believe it, either. I am proud of anyone who marched yesterday and anyone who will continue to speak up and speak out; I am, for the first time in my lifetime, ashamed of much of the tone and direction on our national stage. But as we saw yesterday, we have many actors who want to implement change. And that lightens my heart.

    • I don’t think any of us have seen anything on this scale in the U.S. since the 1960s. I hope and believe that it is going to keep getting bigger and bigger. Wisconsin is such a key state, still a swing state and home of Paul Ryan. Be sure to call your congressperson and senators and tell them what you think and that you’re watching them!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this, Judy and Jason. I marched downstate in C-U with over 5,000 other marchers, not as impressive as Chicago’s turnout, but considering the organizers were expecting about 200, it was a great turnout nonetheless. Saturday evening I watched the news and looked at Facebook posts about marches all over the world and was so inspired. So many people! And every commentator commented on how peaceful all these marches were–a sign, I think, that we are the “ordinary people” Trump claims to represent. Now that we’ve made our voices heard, as you say, we must continue to speak up.

  8. Yay, Judy! My husband and I went to the Augusta, Maine, march, and there were 10,000 people there. Really amazing as Augusta’s population is 19,000. All across the country, all across the world, people have spoken, and the Trump Administration doesn’t like it one bit. On Sunday, they were out with their lies. “Alternative reality,” Kellyanne Conway called it. Well, they are about to find out that facts do matter, no matter how much they lie.

  9. Thank you, thank you for sharing this. I am not sure that we can separate flowers and politics any more. So much is at stake over these next few years. I also loved the sign, “I can’t believe I’m still protesting this crap.” Another favorite from the D.C. march was: “So bad, even introverts are here.” I love your advice on continuing to rattle the cages of our politicians. It’s an antidote to that helpless sinking feeling that overtakes me so much these days. And perhaps it will do some real good. Susan Collins, here in Maine, is one of the few “moderate” republicans around, so we will remain vigilant in pestering her.
    And, by the way, alternative facts will tell us that the crowds you saw were actually greatly exaggerated by magic cameras. And all those protesters? Paid hacks, of course. Puppets of evil reporters and a massive global conspiracy to mock tiny hands.

  10. Thanks so much for sharing Judy’s participation, photos and observations.I hope this is only the beginning, we have so much work to do. The more awareness of what our government has become, the better. Everything has been said before me and I concur.

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