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Oak Park women (and men) ready to rally

January 19th, 2017 5:03 PM

Updated: Jan. 21st, 2017 5:06 PM

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Women in Oak Park and throughout the nation are preparing for marches to protest the rhetoric of incoming president, Donald J. Trump. Hundreds plan to take to the streets in Washington, D.C., Chicago and elsewhere on Saturday, Jan. 21. | Photo provided by Christine Binotti

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Hundreds of thousands attended the Women's March on Chicago

Hundreds of thousands filled the streets of downtown Chicago to support women's rights in the Women's March on Chicago, Saturday, January 21. CLICK HERE

 

Photo courtesy Teresa Heit-Murray

 


 

Hundreds of thousands attended the Women's March on Washington

Over a hundred thousand women and men attended the Women's March on Washington to express their support for women's rights on Saturday, January 21. CLICK HERE

Photo provided

 

Photo by Timothy Inklebarger

Photo by Timothy Inklebarger

 

Photo provided 


 

Signs and a testimonial from the Women's March in Washington D.C.

 

Photo by Timothy Inklebarger

Photo by Timothy Inklebarger

 

 Courtesy Laurie Myers

 

CLICK HERE

 


 

Chicagoland Nasty Women's bus gets flat tire near Washington D.C.

CLICK HERE

 


  

Get on the bus

Day one of Donald J. Trump's America and women from Oak Park, River Forest, and across the country, are headed to the nation's capital with a mission: Make it clear that they have no intention of returning to the days when women were subservient and unequal to men.

Trump make America great again? Not so much, they say. CLICK HERE

 


 

Two women speak out for women's rights on their way to Washington D.C.

More than 100 people turned out Friday evening in Oak Park to catch the three of five buses (two departed from Chicago) to Washington D.C. for the Women's March on Washington. Similar demonstrations are taking place on Saturday in Chicago and across the country. Two women waiting to get on the bus, Megan Sutor and Debra Baker, say they want to speak out for women's rights. Click here

Megan Sutor and Debra Baker | Timothy Inklebarger/Staff

 

Buses departed from Austin Gardens, headed to the Women's March in Washington D. C., Friday night around 6:30 p.m. | Photo by Steven Parker

 



Women's marchers on the road

"Nine Oak Park women and two of our teen daughters are on the road to DC, and we are seeing pink hats everywhere--cars, buses, rest stops!" Click here

— Karin Sullivan

(Left to right) Karin Sullivan, Michele Zurakowski, Emily Hauser,  and Liz Summy. | Karin Sullivan

(Left to right) Karin Sullivan, Michele Zurakowski, Emily Hauser,  and Liz Summy. | Karin Sullivan

 


 

Oak Park women (and men) ready to rally

 It was déjà vu all over again on Nov. 9, when Oak Park resident and School of the Art Institute adjunct associate professor Claire Ashley awoke to the news that Donald J. Trump had won the presidential election against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Ashley, a Scottish citizen who has lived in the United States for more than 20 years, living and working under the protection of a green card, said she had the same experience of dismay in June, when the United Kingdom voted to withdraw from the European Union.

"Waking up Nov. 9 to this brave new world of xenophobia and racism and anti-feminism and this kind of rhetoric being the new normal was horrifying and sent me into a frenzy of feeling the need to do something," she said, noting that she is particularly concerned about the kind of future a Trump administration holds for her two young daughters.

Ashley said that "the conversation over immigration and xenophobia bubbling up here and in my own country" made her realize she could no longer be silent on the issue.

In the days following the historic election, she learned of the Women's March on Washington and began exploring how to get there.

"I posted on Facebook that I was interested in going to the march in D.C. but couldn't afford to fly my girls and stay in a hotel room," she said.

That got her thinking about getting a group of people together to share the cost of renting a bus to get to the protest. She began talking about her plan on social media and got "a flood of people" sending her requests.

About a month later, the single bus she had planned had ballooned to five buses transporting roughly 275 people from Chicago, Oak Park, Forest Park, River Forest Riverside, Northbrook and elsewhere.

Ashley said that she is not a political activist and has never even attended a demonstration of any sort. The women's march will be the first for her and her daughters, Ashley said.

"I felt it was important to make a stand and to be a voice and try and be heard and make sure of the visibility of this march and of the marches around the country and the globe," she said.

Her efforts did not go unnoticed by others who have more experience taking direct action on social issues.

Julie Justicz, an Oak Park resident and attorney who works with the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, which focuses on racial equity and social justice issues, said she has marched for gay and lesbian rights and women's rights issues in the past and has even made the trek to D.C.

She began organizing a group to charter a bus to D.C. and learned about Ashley's efforts. The two joined forces on the pilgrimage to the U.S. capital.

Justicz said this march was of particular importance to her because, like Ashley, the effect the election had a direct effect on her 12-year-old daughter.

"It's important to show her that there are powerful women who are prepared to stand up to [Trump] and to fight his image of women," she said.

Justicz said that the group, which at one point dubbed itself the Chicagoland Nasty Women's March on Washington (a reference to Trump calling opponent Hillary Clinton a "nasty woman" during an election-season debate), are mainly going to be women, but each of the five buses has about four or five men attending. The demographics of women riding the bus "run the gamut," she said, from middle-school aged girls to middle-age and older women.

"It's really empowering to see people from all backgrounds attending," Justicz said.

She said the march, which is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of protestors, will create "a huge visual image that people won't be able to brush off."

"We're saying, 'We're here and we're paying attention,'" Justicz said.

Ashley echoed the sentiment, noting that she and millions of other will be calling out the administration for the next four years.

"We're not taking anything lying down, and we're not going to be silent," Ashley said.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com