Video: Grant Park Is A Sea Of Pink For Chicago Women's March
Reporting by Stephen Gossett and Aaron Cynic
Updated 4:00 p.m.: Here's our recap of a day of rallying with the Women's March Chicago.
Updated: 11:20 a.m.: Due to the size of the rally, which has tens of thousands more people than expected, organizers have cancelled plans to march through the city after the rally. A safety marshal announced that ralliers should "peacefully leave" Grant Park after the rally,and they will be led out by safety marshals. Some ralliers say they are planning a rogue march out of the park, however.
Organizers of the Chicago Women's March predicted that as many as 50,000 people would be turning out to Grant Park Saturday morning—now, they say over 150,000 people are there, making this one of the largest marches outside of D.C. today. Thousands are converging on the Loop this morning for the rally and march for civil rights and women's rights, and to denounce President Donald Trump.
Chicagoist asked some of the marchers why they turned out this morning, and what's at stake for them:
Ann Scholhamer, a Women's March co-chair, told us: “I am feeling overjoyed that some many people want to join in a cause and hear the speakers. That’s why I’m here, and that’s why over been working with 200 volunteers and new friends and family—to get people here to participate and get started acting in their communities.”
Samantha Marie Ware, a member of the Hamilton cast, said, “I’m marching for my sisters and women of color.” She was joined by several other cast members (Hamilton is currently running in Chicago), including Ari Afsar, Aaron Gordon and Carl Clemons-Hopkins.
“As artists we have a desire to help all, and that’s part of a reason why we entered the arts," Afsar said of his reasons for marching. "We all believe equality is the way of life and we hope to represent that here and in our art.”
“A huge part of being an artist is understanding empathy," Gordon said. "We’ve all come to understand that that’s what the world needs: empathy. Understanding other people’s experiences is what’s important.”
Clemons-Hopkins said he's impressed with the way different people from different causes are coming together in protest.
“This is the first time in my lifetime that I’ve seen such intersectionality for different causes," he said. "I hope this influences the next Women's March, the next differently-abled people's march, the next Black Lives Matter march, the next Trans Lives Matter march. When we continue to speak up for each other, only good things can happen.”
Rachel Benzing, of South Elgin, an artist, said she's marching "for all Americans against hate and fear It’s time to show some spirit and some gumption.” She left South Elgin at 6 a.m. Saturday morning to be able to get to the rally site at 7:30 a.m.
Nora Jackson, 60, of Little Italy, got to the rally site at 8:30 a.m.
“I’m here protesting the new president and administration," she said. "I don’t believe he’ll serve everyone [he's] not for all of us, and he’ll prove that."