Chicago Walk For Choice

The walk for choice was amazing. Inspiring. Really, just wonderful.

I’ve never been surrounded by so many pro-choice feminists in my life. It’s encouraging to know that while there are many out there who would take away women’s bodily autonomy there are at least just as many who are willing to stand up for our rights.

The crowd. There were so many energized and amazing people there.

The walk went well, and despite anti-choice groups protesting women’s right to choose, there was no violence at all.

Anti-choice protesters carrying yellow balloons. I couldn't get a very good picture of them, but really, why would I even want one?

The anti-choice groups carried yellow balloons with the word life on them. It was a little sad to see people bringing their children to protest our rights. Many of them were obviously too young to understand what was going on, and were just following their parents’ example. It’s heartbreaking that many of these children are probably going to grow up thinking that women don’t deserve the right to choose. All because of how their parents raised them, forcing “pro-life” ideals on them from the start.

But enough of that. The anti-choice group pretty much ignored us once we started marching. They marched too, but we rarely saw them and they weren’t really a problem for us.

When I first showed up I was a little nervous, I had never been to a protest before and wasn’t sure what to expect. There had been other protesters on the train, but they were all going to the union protest (also a great cause, we marched over to where they were and everyone was very positive. Pro-unions, pro-women, pro-choice!). I quietly took my sign out from my bag, bought a t-shirt, and waited. I was early, so there weren’t very many people yet.

Luckily I met someone my age. She seemed really interesting, and it was nice to have someone to march with.

My walk buddy!

More after the jump!

Walking around the city was a great experience. There were so many people who cheered us on or shouted thanks or honked their horns as we walked and chanted (Pro-women pro-choice! Gay, straight, black, white, all unite for women’s rights! Not the church, not the state, women must decide their fate!). I’ve never been so proud of a group of people in my life.

More shots of the crowd. Sorry for how out of focus everything is, I was walking as I took the photos.

Because we didn’t have a parade permit we had to stick to the sidewalks, parks, and plazas. We split up into two groups (at the bequest of the police I believe) and walked around the loop and Michigan Avenue. There were several officers with each group, helping with crossing the streets and making sure things didn’t get out of hand. Eventually our two groups rejoined. The group was enormous! So many people were marching for women’s rights. It was inspiring, and makes me thankful that I was raised in a (mostly) liberal and progressive city.

Before I end this post, here are some photos of our signs. These are only random shots taken as I walked, but I got a couple of good ones by chance.

If anyone reading this wants to help the cause, donate to your local (or the national branch of) Planned Parenthood! If you’re on campus, organize a campus group to raise awareness for women’s rights. One of the organizers of this walk said they would be marching again next Saturday (I’m not sure if any of the other cities will be doing this as well), if I can find information I’ll post it.

Anyone else attend the walk?

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