The second annual Women's March Chicago surpassed even the most optimistic of expectations; on every level. The weather cooperated, and an unseasonably pleasant day helped facilitate a crowd that greatly exceeded last year's inaugural (according to Women's March Chicago event organizers).
The city will release their official crowd estimate numbers tomorrow, but a statement from the board of Women’s March Chicago reads:
“A year after the Women’s March on Chicago exceeded our wildest expectations, today’s MARCH ON THE POLLS demonstrates that the voices of women and their allies are stronger than ever. Today we marched. Tomorrow we vote."
They claim 300,000 as the attendance figure, and that's well ahead of last year's quarter of a million.
While last year's theme largely centered around #TheResistance to President Donald Trump and the zeitgeist of #Resist, this year's edition was all about harnessing that energy towards strengthening the electorate.
It goes without saying that women's rights define the meaning of the Women's March, in both editions that have been held thus far, but the 2018 event points towards flipping districts, congressional and senate seats.
While 2017 was more about political will and enthusiasm, this year it's about keeping that enthusiasm high, maintaining the political will and taking that to the polls in November. While turnout is always traditionally very poor in midterm elections, the Women's March Chicago seeks to change that, and by the looks of things today, it appears very much that they will.
Critics of this march, and other events of this vein, like to refer to the proceedings as simply marches against Trump. That's an easily broken down argument when you consider:
1.) it's only a reductive, simplistic heuristic on their part
2.) Trump is the current leader of the free world- when his policies directly subjugate and blatantly oppress you, then what is wrong with protesting against that?
How is it a negative to stand up for yourself?
The FCC and Chairman Ajit Pai have enacted legislation that literally takes money out of my pocket and gives it directly to giant telecommunications corporations. Of course, I'm going to take issue with that, and fight back every single way that I can.
If you see something wrong with defending yourself...well, this is really too stupid an idea to explore further, but then again the Chicago Sun-Times, in a pathetic, desperate attempt to attract eyeballs, actually did publish a laughably terrible March for Science hit piece last spring, because "haters gonna hate" as Taylor Swift said.
We're just gonna shake it off, shake it off and just move on to the photo gallery. It was a glorious day for all involved!
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune corporation blogging community Chicago Now.
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