By Maryann Vazquez, our on-the-spot marching reporter!
Marches are becoming a national pastime during the first 100 days of the Trump Administration: large or small they are a daily occurrence, because in 2017 – THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE! Starting with the Women’s March on January 21st it has become almost impossible to keep up with all the activism. If you could not make it to any of the recent marches, here is a little recap on the 3 major marches in April in and around the Chicago area.
On April 15th Tax Day Chicagoans convened at Daley Center to demand Trump release his taxes returns! (Do he and Spicey really believe no one cares?) There were rallies in 150 cities. Speakers here included State Senator Daniel Biss and the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Senator Biss asked that we take action by adding our name in support of SB982 which will keep Donald Trump or any other candidate off the ballot in Illinois unless income tax returns are released. The March was lead by a replica of a Trumpian Chicken who floated above the 15,000 strong protestors from Daley Plaza to our own “Chicago White House” aka Trump Tower. The weather did not disappoint, it was gorgeous and the city was filled with people cheering us on. Not to be left out was DuPage County: Naperville (no, that was not a typo) had a march of its own with Congressman Bill Foster speaking to a crowd of about 600 marchers. Marching for America has come to suburbia! The rally began near the Riverwalk and continued though the streets of Downtown Naperville.
Earth Day, aka the March for Science, set off on April 22 in Grant Park with 60,000 people fighting to protect our Mother Earth. She was beaming from sunny sky to sunny sky for Chicago! Probably because she was laughing at all the creative signs in her defense! “So bad the Geeks are here”, “2 +2 =4”, “I can’t believe I have to defend Science”, “Bee the change! If we die we are taking you with us”. The March for Science even included a marching band that could be heard for blocks. The Field Museum organized its own group complete with a Field Museum rally. It was colorful and alive in a peaceful way. Palatine was not to be out done by Chicago, it had a march beginning at the library and continuing through local streets – definitely a major coup in a Republican dominated suburb.
As if to say “Climate Change is real” the universe delivered a contrasting April 29th for the Climate Change March. It was so cold, it was so windy and it was rainy,rainy! Did that dampen the spirits of the crowd? Absolutely not! There was just as much excitement as at any of the other rallies-just a little soggier. The speakers were all local activists from Chicago. Initially, it looked like it would be a much smaller march than expected but, despite the wind, rain and cold the march grew to 15,000. I think the march grew in part because as we marched from Federal Plaza to Trump Tower, on-lookers stepped in to support the cause.
I’ve started a calendar for myself with marches and protests. Start one for yourself if you don’t want to miss out on the fun and if you want to be a part of the history of the resistance. Most marches are listed on our website and Facebook page. Or check out Left out Dupage on Facebook which lists just about every march, event, rally etc in DuPage county. It is not possible to attend everything of course. Pick your cause, attend a march or rally and DO IT! you WILL make a difference!