By Yarilet Perez
Shouting “women’s rights are human rights,” Chicago activists made a bold statement as approximately 250,000 people participated in the Women’s March of Chicago over the weekend.
Immersed in a sea of furry pink hats and carrying an array of elaborate signs, the protesters, all part of one of the largest human-rights demonstrations ever held, marched through the loop declaring, “This is what democracy looks like.”
Although the prevailing opinion might have been that the march was against President Donald Trump, the marchers said Saturday that he wasn’t their main priority.
“This is about women coming together,” said Teresa Córdova, director of the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which works to increase community development across the city. “And promoting that which is most feminine about the universe. I think that the strength and power of women being here together helps through that.”
Men as well as women attended the Women’s March on Washington, which was part of a worldwide event of feminine solidarity rooted in disdain for Trump’s often derogatory comments about women during his campaign.
In response to the growing concern that the new administration will reverse the landmark Roe vs. Wade legislation, the crowds in Chicago and Washington chanted “My body, my choice.”
“I am here to fight against and speak out on any injustice and hateful policies that may come up,” said Fran Pelmon, a supporter at the march in Chicago. “I think that we have to take a stand and exercise our constitutional right to march for peace and love in this country, for diversity and inclusion.”
The call to action this weekend brought out organizations like Chicago-based Mujeres Latinas en Accion (Latina Women in Action), a group that has worked for over 40 years to empower and advocate for Latina women.
“I am very happy to be here,” said Nohemi Rosales, a student at Colombia College, in her native Spanish. “I’m emotional. I want to cry, because I am with so many women, Latina women that speak Spanish like me. And I’m here to support the women in my family who have been abused, and need the support, even when they’re not here.”
Mothers, daughters and their sons stood side-by-side, reciting affirmations of strength and unity, as they waved the American flag, and a new flag, called the “Flag of the People.”