Women's March on Chicago Changes Start Location Again as 50K Expected to Attend | NBC Chicago
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Women's March on Chicago Changes Start Location Again as 50K Expected to Attend

The second location change comes just two days after organizers held a press conference to detail their plans for the event

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As crowd estimations for the Women's March on Chicago grow to more than 50,000, organizers have once again shifted the start location of the march and rally. Regina Waldroup reports. (Published Friday, Jan. 20, 2017)

    As crowd estimations for the Women's March on Chicago grow to more than 50,000, organizers have once again shifted the start location of the march and rally. 

    The new location for the Saturday morning rally and march will be on Columbus Drive near Jackson Drive, adjacent to the Petrillo Bandshell in Grant Park. 

    Marchers and attendees can enter the space via Balbo or Congress onto Columbus Drive. 

    The second location change comes just two days after organizers held a press conference to detail their plans for the event. Since then, crowd estimations have grown even higher, with more than 50,000 now expected to march. 

    The event was originally slated to be held at the Petrillo Bandshell, but was earlier moved to Jackson Boulevard and Lake Shore Drive "in order to protect Grant Park from damage,” organizers said. The location was changed a second time on Thursday as attendane estimations spiked. 

    The demonstrators are expected to take to city streets after a morning rally, which will likely mean street closures in downtown Chicago Saturday as the group marches to Federal Plaza. 

    From 9 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday, Columbus Drive will be closed from East Monroe Street to East Balbo Avenue and East Jackson Drive will be closed from Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive. Congress Parkway from Columbus to Machigan and Congress Circl will also be closed. 

    Michigan Avenue will be closed from Randolph to Harrison once the march steps off, officials said. 

    Organizer noted that East Congress and Balbo Avenue will also be closed from Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive and Monroe will be closed from Michigan Avenue to Columbus, but those closures were not reported by Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communication. 

    "The incoming administration and president have promised an assault on women’s rights, we are prepared to fight back," said organizer Ann Scholhamer.

    The Chicago event is one of many around the country and the world being held in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington.

    "This march is just one moment in time but it’s a moment that will hopefully ignite a powerful message," said Donna Miller with Planned Parenthood. "Women are taking action and will continue to take action."

    The group noted it is not an anti-Trump event, but that many marchers may be marching for political reasons. 

    The marches nationwide are expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people on Saturday.

    Chicago police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on plans for security or potential traffic disruptions during the event.

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