Within Chicago’s 2020 Women’s March


Sayre Debruler

Marchers included those from a variety of different age groups, many of whom held up signs to show the main reason they were at the march, including, supporting their daughters, supporting Planned Parenthood and simply supporting women in general.

After having no women’s march in 2019, Chicago once again held its women’s march on Saturday, Jan. 18. It was estimated that between 8,000-10,000 people — myself included — showed up and participated in this year’s march. Among this large gathering were several government officials, including Senator Dick Durbin and Representative Brad Schneider.

Some marchers were very specific about the issue most prevalent to them. This sign, referencing the impeachment trial, specifically called out senators for not abiding by the oath of office they once took.

The march began at 11 a.m. in Grant Park and finished around 1 p.m. at the Federal Plaza. However, after the official march ended, many made their way over to Trump Tower, where a few people gave speeches, and many others took pictures of themselves holding up their anti-Trump signs in front of the tower.

The crowd at the women’s march had roughly 10,000 participants, from several age groups, ethnicities, and genders.

Several different causes were being supported during the march.  According to the women’s march official website, this year’s march officially focused on five main concepts: “[the] 2020 Census, climate justice, gun violence prevention, health care access, and voting.” The event also honored those marchers with disabilities. 

Many environmentalists could be seen throughout the crowd, holding up signs that read “Climate Justice Now!” and “SCIENCE not SILENCE!” 

Several marchers, like the woman above, were there to show their support for the transgender community. They wanted others to know that women’s rights are not just for cisgendered women but also for transgender women.

Even though there were plenty of people there supporting the environment, Planned Parenthood, and the importance of voting, the largest and most popular topic was President Donald Trump. Throughout the march, participants could be heard shouting several chants including, “This is what democracy looks like!” and “Trump, Pence, Out Now!” I even had a Baby Trump balloon with me as I made my way alongside the other marchers.

As people continued to shout their many chants, others held up their signs. Many were very similar, such as the various men who held signs that said “I’m with her” with multiple arrows pointing in every direction. Other signs were more unique. Kelsey Marx, a senior at Lake Forest High School, had a sign with Nancy Pelosi’s picture taped to it and the words “I can take your man if I want to” written around the photo. Many of the older people in the march did not understand the reference to the photo — which is from TikTok — however Marx did receive several compliments from the many high schoolers and college students who participated. She showed the sign to me on the train ride to the city, and I couldn’t help but laugh at the reference.

Lake Forest High School senior Kelsey Marx attended the women’s march with a sign containing a picture of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a quote from a popular TikTok song.

On a more upsetting but unsurprising note, there were also plenty of people who protested the march. One of these people seemed, at first glance, to be a part of the march. However, after a few seconds of talking with her, it was clear to see that she stood against most everything that the march was about. She made a few comments that seemed like a joke, but after she continued to make the same comments, I started to feel uncomfortable and quickly made my escape. 

And it was not just her. Several people seemed to hold certain amounts of disdain for the marchers, and the fact that they so vehemently hate Trump. Fortunately, many of these protestors were easy to ignore, and the only time one could really actually hear, or in this case read, what they had to say was whatever they posted on social media after the march.

As mentioned earlier, Rep. Brad Schneider, who represents Illinois’s 10th Congressional District, which includes Libertyville, was an active member in the march. He was an easy person to find in the crowd, as he was taller than many of the marchers and wore a bright blue winter coat. Many times throughout the march, Schneider could be seen striking up a conversation with different marchers. At one point, he even crouched down to get eye level with a little girl who seemed no older than 10. He talked with this girl for roughly five minutes, and he seemed really invested in the conversation as much as the girl was. 

Representative Brad Schneider talks to a young girl during the march.

I even got to discuss a few different things with him as well. He’s very active in the community and seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say. We talked about why I was at the march, which was mostly to write this story and cover the event for Drops of Ink, but also because I feel that women’s rights are an extremely important issue in my life right now. It was pretty amazing to have that conversation with my representative and actually know that he was listening to what I had to say.

The Chicago women’s march was a sight to see, and I was extremely excited to be able to attend the march in person. There were so many people — men, women and children — that I nearly cried at how interested these people were. It was clear to see that whatever issue each person was marching for was extremely important and close to their heart. I really would encourage each and every one of you to go out and participate in the next women’s march. It will be held in mid-October in order to encourage everyone to vote in the 2020 presidential election.