Voices: Chicago's Women's March

Written by Madeline Happold

 

On Saturday, Jan. 21, people of diverse backgrounds gathered in Chicago's Loop district to participate in the nationwide Women's March. Held in response to Donald Trump's inauguration the day prior, the event began with musical performances around 9:15 a.m. and continued with speeches from activists and city aldermen, followed by the formal march through Michigan Avenue and surrounding streets. Chicago's Women's March was the largest outside of the main protest in Washington D.C., breaking its 75,000 member capacity with a final estimate of 250,000 participants. Shredded was lucky enough to take part, and talked to some marchers on why they decided to fight power with peace. 

 

 

Hallie Duffy, 20

"I'm here to resist the sexism and bigotry of Donald Trump and women's rights."

 

 

Brittany Pedersen, 37, and Julia Pedersen, 67

"I'm here because I think that, right now in America, we are going to have to continue to protest and be activists to obtain the rights that we have and the rights of others. It's a scary time, and I don't want women to get lost and I don't want people that matter and Americans to get lost." 

 

 

Beth Martini, 31

"I'm marching today because I believe that Trump has campaigned and will rule based on principles that deny every person except for the top 1%, i.e. upper white class males in our country, he'll deny the rest of us our rights. I'm marching because I believe that feminism should be intersectional and its no longer about just women's rights. It's about standing up for vulnerable members of our community, it's about standing up for people who can't stand up for themselves, and because I'm able I'm here." 

 

 

Neil Arsenty, 31

"I just wanted to show my support for women whose voices are just not getting heard by those in power, just standing up for fundamental rights they should have." 

 

 

Tiffanie Areschke, 27, and Ocean Areschke, 4

"I'm a teacher for Chicago public schools and my classroom is predominately Hispanic students and the majority of them are illegal or parents are illegal or family members, and they're terrified. They ask us questions that we can't answer and the only thing we can do is create a safe space for them and tell them how much we love them. I teach history to marginalized students, and they get the history that's the truth. They know I'm here today and they are waiting to meet me, some of them even got groups to come.

This October I just adopted an African American son, so everybody whose closest to me feels uneasy about what's happening. I want to teach my son to empower girls and to stand up for his rights. In our house we celebrate being black and we celebrate walking and marches, so Black Lives Matter movement marches as well."

 

Photos courtesy of Madeline Happold. Contact Madeline at madelinehappold@shredded-mag.com, or follow her on Instagram.