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Massive Women's March In Chicago Expected To Draw 40,000, Planners Say

By aaroncynic in News on Jan 17, 2017 10:59PM

Liz Radford, Co-chair of the Women's March on Chicago speaks at a press conference at City Hall on Tuesday, January 17th. Photo by Aaron Cynic/Chicagoist

Organizers behind the massive women’s march planned for the day after the inauguration in Chicago—one of 400 happening worldwide in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington—say they’re expecting at least 40,000 people to turn out this Saturday.

“This march is a beginning rather than an end,” Dr. Cheryl Johnson-Odim said at a press conference on the 2nd floor of City Hall Tuesday afternoon. “This march is to galvanize women and our allies to continue to struggle and to make certain that our hard won rights stay.”

The march, which will begin with a rally at 9:30 a.m. featuring live music and speakers, was originally scheduled to kick off at the Petrillo Band Shell in Grant Park, but has since been moved to the intersection of Jackson and Columbus to prevent the park from muddying. A wide variety of community groups, activists and others will speak before the march heads through the loop, ultimately returning to its start location.


While organizers noted that the event isn’t specifically billed as an anti-Trump event, it’s expected many of those that turn up will do so because of the incoming administration and its allies in the GOP’s abysmal stances towards issues effecting women, immigrants, Muslims, the LGBTQ community, and more.

“We won’t stand by and let the new administration turn back the clocks on our rights,” said Katie Thiete of Planned Parenthood Illinois. “We will continue to fight because we know access to quality reproductive healthcare is a right, not a privilege or a luxury.”

“I’m Pakistani, Muslim, queer, a woman, a citizen, a Chicagoan and a human,” said Fawzia Mirza. “I march because you may not know it yet but it’s going to matter at some point in your lives or someone you care about...I’m tired of other people speaking for me.”