In a lot of ways the 2018 Women's March was not much different from the 2017 edition. Again the day was sunny and unseasonably warm, and again people poured into Grant Park from all over Chicago and the suburbs. Pussy hats came out of retirement and signs that had been sitting in closets and basements for the past 364 days got a second life. (There were some updates too: shithole hats and signs that referenced #MeToo, Time's Up, girtherism, and the government shutdown.) Once again, the crowd was larger than anticipated—300,000 people this time, 50,000 more than last year—but still peaceful, and once again, we all chanted "What does democracy look like? This is what democracy looks like!"
But there were a few significant changes. For one thing, this year there was actually a march. Last year, overwhelmed by the size of the crowd and concerned for everyone's safety, the organizers had ended the event after the rally in Grant Park and people had swarmed up Michigan Avenue and into the Loop on their own. On Saturday marchers funneled into Van Buren and Jackson and Adams and followed the planned route to Federal Plaza.
Perhaps even more significantly, this year's march had a clear plan of action. Last year's march came together in the weeks following the election in defiance of Donald Trump and everything he stood for. It was comforting to be out in the streets of Chicago with a quarter of a million other people who also hated him and everything he stands for. In the past year, we've seen exactly how shitty a president he's turned out to be, how completely unfit he is to govern—no matter what his doctors might say about his physical and mental health. We've seen how complicit the Republican government has been and how Congress has decided taxes and health care are political footballs to knock around instead of actual policies that affect the lives of actual people. We've also seen the importance of doing the one thing we have control over: showing up and casting our ballots on Election Day.
So this year, we marched along a definite march route with a definite goal: On November 6, we all shouted, we're going to get those fuckers out of there. Already, 390 women have announced their intention
to run for the House, 49 more are running for the Senate, and of those, 228 are challenging incumbents.
And in the meantime, we got to show off some pretty good signs.