An estimated 250,000 people gathered for Saturday’s Women’s March on Chicago joining millions who participated worldwide. Judging by updates we saw on social media, there were a number of Barrington area residents who took part in this unprecedented show of global solidarity.
As someone with close friends and relatives who supported different candidates in our presidential election, I am intimately aware of the strong feelings attached to both sides. Regardless of party or political views, it is a wonder to witness so many empowered by our constitution, peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights.
We reached out to three women with ties to Barrington who took part on Saturday to learn more about the experience and their personal reasons for joining the march. Here’s what they had to say…
“It was an amazing day – we were happy to join so many in the march and be part of this global movement. The women, men and children who marched today did so peacefully and respectfully. It was a great opportunity to show our sons firsthand what incredible freedoms and responsibilities we have as part of a democracy – and that women are a force to be reckoned with :). We have tremendous pride in our country, and the Women’s March on Chicago made us proud yet again. The fact that my Mom marched with us – she is visiting from Arizona – made it all the more special. It was one for the books!”
“I was overwhelmed by the commitment to a peaceful and just world at Saturday’s Women’s March on Chicago where there was a sea of women along with their men, children and babies. The energy was strong and serious. It was peaceful and full of thought. As a result, I hope we are stronger in our resolve to do the right thing for all of mankind.”
“It was a great experience. The weather was beautiful and there was a positive attitude among the crowd. It felt good to see people stand up for their beliefs. As Americans, regardless of where we are on the political spectrum, we tend to be complacent when it comes to activism. When your life is relatively comfortable it is easy to leave the hard work of advocacy for others to do. Of course, advocacy requires a lot more than marching, but it’s a start.
I know some people view the marches as sour grapes on the part of those who didn’t vote for Trump, but I disagree. Yes, I am disappointed that my candidate did not win, but I (and many others) marched because some of the ideas that our president has expressed are frightening, discriminatory and are not indicative of someone who seeks to represent us all. There is a real fear that portions of the American population will become even more vulnerable under this administration. There is a difference between disagreeing with someone’s policies and harboring a genuine concern that the country (and the world) is moving towards hatred and discrimination.
I hope the march encourages people to engage in respectful dialogue about the things that matter to them. I also hope the world finally recognizes the true worth of women.”