Women’s March to the Polls–Chicago

I didn’t participate in last year’s Women’s March, and regretted it every time I spoke with someone who had. They told me about the feeling of solidarity, the sense of building momentum, the knowledge that there were so many people who felt as they did. The sense that they had taken part in something very special. So, when I learned that there would be another march this year, I knew I had to take part.

After the speeches, heading down Jackson toward Federal Plaza

Gathering in Grant Park








My friends and I rode the train into Chicago. The weather cooperated, with sun, blue skies, and temperature in the 40s. It’s hard to describe how I felt as we walked down Madison towards Grant Park and were joined by more and more sign-toting marchers. Excited, as the numbers grew. Happy, when we learned that the number of attendees matched or exceeded that of the 2017 event.


Federal Plaza

Last year, during a discussion about the climate and science marches, someone asked me what good they did? What impact do those demonstrations actually have? I felt that it was realization that one wasn’t alone, and the sense of camaraderie that developed as you walked with people of all ages, from all walks of life.

It also brings to mind something Luna Lovegood tells Harry Potter in The Order of the Phoenix film while they’re visiting the thestrals. “If I were you know who, I would want you to feel cut off from everyone else. Because if it’s just you alone, you’re not as much of a threat.”

Those of us who walked yesterday knew we weren’t alone.


About Kristine Smith

Kristine Smith is the author of the Jani Kilian series and a number of SF and fantasy short stories, and is a winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She worked as a pharmaceutical process development scientist for 26 years, but now writes full-time. She also writes supernatural thrillers under the name Alex Gordon. Check out her BVC bookshelf


Women’s March to the Polls–Chicago — 6 Comments

  1. There are Those who feel it is important to poo poo that value of these solidarity actions, to whom I say — Pooh!

    It’s odd though — I checked the news sources on line for the women’s marches in the small Illinois city where my brother and his family live. I had asked him whether anyone in his house had participated, and all he could say is, “I don’t think that sort of thing goes on here. I didn’t hear anything.” But the online television and newspapers for his small city reported on thousands — women, children and men — marching. Though, of course, black faces in that incredibly segregated city, appeared entirely non-existent.

    • I’ve read comments that larger media centers also seemed to pay scant attention to the marches. Unfortunate, since the fact that in some cases this year’s attendance exceeded last year’s indicates, I don’t know, momentum?

  2. They are hoping we’ll go away? We won’t go away.
    There were demonstrations worldwide. I can think of no other president who has elicited this kind of steady opposition. It may be the main achievement of this administration, waking the sleeping tigress: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act-four/wp/2018/01/22/definitely-the-best-part-of-president-trumps-first-year-in-office/
    The most important thing though is to get out the vote. This year, and always. We can’t ever be complacent again.

    • Voter registrants walked through the crowd. Candidates for office asked for donations. IL AG Lisa Madigan and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle were among the speakers. A very political edge–people know they need to vote.

  3. These demonstrations are really important. Here’s a report from Erica Chenoweth and a colleague: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/01/21/one-year-after-the-womens-march-on-washington-people-are-still-protesting-en-masse-a-lot-weve-counted/

    Chenoweth has been studying the effectiveness of nonviolent civil resistance. What we’re doing, as shown by the women’s marches, puts us on track to make some significant changes. So keep it up.