CHICAGO –They came to Grant Park with a message.
They came in groups of friends and as families. Some brought their young children.
But for many in this crowd of more than 300,000, coming to the 2018 Chicago Women’s March wasn’t enough. They want these women–and those with them–to vote.
The march attracted over 250,000 participants in 2017, and following a year where the #MeToo movement dominated headlines, organizers expected a large turnout again this year.
President Donald Trump tweeted that it was a “perfect day” for women to march to celebrate the “economic success and wealth creation” that’s happened during his first year in office — while women across the nation rallied against him and his policies.
“Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months,” the Republican wrote Saturday afternoon. “Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”
But people participating in rallies and marches in the U.S. and around the world Saturday denounced Trump’s views on immigration, abortion, LGBT rights, women’s rights and more.
The march in Washington, D.C. on Saturday had the feel of a political rally when U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats, urged women to run for office and vote to oppose Trump and the Republicans’ agenda.
“We march, we run, we vote, we win,” Pelosi said to applause.
Thousands of people turned out for the rally at Lincoln Memorial and a march from the National Mall to Lafayette Park.
The rally at Grant Park included TV stars and politicians. Speakers touched on the #MeToo movement, DACA and LGBTQ rights.
Many speakers told personal stories of triumph and tragedy, but most of them kept a positive tone, despite a strong negative perception of President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress,
After the rally, people poured into streets. They marched down Michigan and Jackson, past State to Dearborn before finishing at Federal Plaza.
PHOTOS: Chicago Women’s March 2018
Many people attending the march used the hashtag #womensmarchchi on Twitter to share their photos.
Chicago’s “March to the Polls” was one of 350 events worldwide planned for this weekend.