Women’s March organizers plan another Chicago rally for 2018


Anna Spoerre

Hannah Baker, a senior at Carbondale Community High School, participates in the Southern Illinois Women’s March on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, in front of the Carbondale Civic Center. Baker said she attended with about a dozen other members of the high school’s women’s leadership club. “We’re just supporting the cause,” she said. (Anna Spoerre | @annaspoerre)

Organizers of the Women’s March on Chicago — which unexpectedly drew a crowd of about a quarter-million in January — announced plans Wednesday to host a similar demonstration in early 2018.

The event, dubbed “March to the Polls,” will be held downtown on Jan. 20, organizers said Wednesday. The goal of the 2018 march is to “help tip the scales toward a progressive pro-women policy agenda in the 2018 gubernatorial and mid-term primary and general elections,” according to a news release.

The demonstration is intended to highlight women’s rights as well as other social causes like affordable health care, immigration, racial justice, LGBT rights, environmental protection, reproductive rights and access for people with disabilities.


“As we approach local, midterm and gubernatorial elections in 2018, it’s even more critical that women are engaged and involved,” Women’s March on Chicago organizer Jessica Scheller said on the event website. “If we want to see progress in this city, state, and country we need women’s votes, voices and leadership.”

Chicago’s march in 2017 was one of hundreds held in cities across the globe in connection with the Women’s March on Washington, following the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

The Chicago march, held the day after Trump was sworn in, was initially expected to draw a crowd of about 22,000 but swelled to roughly 250,000, filling Grant Park to capacity, according to organizers.

Masses of demonstrators cut off access to parts of the Loop, and the planned march route became impassable, so organizers called off the “pedestrian component” of the march and turned it into a rally instead.

Many participants marched, anyway, some in knitted pink hats that came to be known as “pussyhats,” some carrying signs lambasting the new president.

“Michigan Avenue is flooded with marchers,” an event co-chairwoman had told the crowd in January. “Wabash is flooded with marchers. State Street is flooded with marchers. People are still waiting for trains in Oak Park. We called, and you came.”

For more on the 2018 event, visit womens121marchonchicago.org.



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