8:30 AM at the Benson Street ‘l’ stop.
Only 4 people there. We were all worried the day would be a dud.
Worries became worse when a many-car Chicago ‘l’ train arrived totally empty.
But by the time we reached Cubs Park, the ‘l’ was packed!
A three- block walk to Grant Park which was about a third full of women … and men too.
Wonderful posters. We decided to stay near one of the huge screens that were set up to cover the goings-on on the stage about two blocks north of where we sere standing.
Still a little worried about crowd size. The organizers did a fabulous job setting up screens and audio so people standing far from the stage could see and hear the speakers. People kept coming and pretty soon the entire Grant Park area was covered with people as far as the eye could see.
Fabulous signs! It seemed to me there were more anti-Trump signs than Women’s Rights signs, but the signs were spectacular and covered every progressive issue under the sun.
Speaking of sun, although it was cold, it was wonderful to have a sunny day. There were families with children of all ages including babies. People from Indiana. People, people, people. I have attended some major marches and I think this was the largest. At least it felt like the largest.
After 3 1/2 hours my back was giving out and my hands were cold, so I slowly made my way through the crowd toward Michigan Avenue and was shocked to see hundreds of policemen blocking people from entering Grant Park from Michigan Avenue. I asked a policeman why they were blocking the park and he said it was because there were so many people in the park that it would be dangerous to let more people in.
When I got closer to Michigan Avenue, I was amazed that as far as the eye could see north and south on Michigan Avenue there were thousands of people blocked from the park. I asked the policeman for a crowd count and he said that he had heard 300,000 and that’s what was reported in the media.
I asked this same policeman how to get across the street so that I could head to the ‘l’, and he said you can’t. I said I had to go to the bathroom, so he took my arm and somehow got me over to the west side of Michigan. As I walked up Jackson to State Street to catch the ‘l’ back to Evanston, people were still coming to march by the hundreds.
What a day! So glad I went.
For a variety of reasons, I do not like crowds. Consequently, in the past, I have avoided situations such as marches of any kind. But times are different, and the impetus to do more than just sit around complaining about the present political woes won the day.
My friend and I started out before 9:00 am, got on the Skokie Swift and were lucky to find seating. The ‘l’ cars filled up quickly with people of all ages, mostly women, and some men.
We met up with the Chicago Area Peace Action group and began walking to the park. By 10:30, the sidewalks were already crowded so it took awhile to wind our way to a little knoll not too far from Buckingham Fountain. There we stopped because it was obvious we weren’t going to get much closer to the speaker’s stand. Instead, we talked to people, some from out of state, recited chants which others also picked up, and noted especially interesting signs (my favorites being “Grab him by the midterm” and “Men of quality don’t fear equality”). One young man standing close to us kept yelling, “He’s coming, he’s coming.” When he turned his large sign around we saw four identical pictures of Mueller, dressed in robes.
Lots and lots of signs….