Thousands Expected to Attend Women's March on Chicago, Organizers Say

Organizers say at least 50,000 people are expected to be a part of the Women's March on Chicago this weekend, one day after Donald Trump's inauguration.

The new number comes after the group revealed during a press conference Tuesday that 40,000 marchers had registered for the event with another 20,000 interested in attending. 

"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 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 on a route beginning near the city's Grant Park and ending at Federal Plaza. 

Originally slated to be held at the Petrillo Bandshell Saturday, the event will now begin at 10 a.m. on Columbus Drive near Jackson Drive

Columbus Drive will be closed from East Monroe Street to East Balbo Avenue. East Jackson Drive, East Congress and Balbo Avenue will all be closed from Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive. Monroe will also be closed from Michigan Avenue to Columbus, organizers said.

The event will begin with the rally near Grant Park, featuring speeches and performances from several people including Ari Afsar, Karen Olivo and Samantha Marie Ware from the cast of “Hamilton.”

The march is expected to step off at 11:30 a.m. and continue west on Jackson Boulevard before ending at Federal Plaza.

As of Monday, nearly $40,000 had been raised to fund equipment needed for the downtown event.

“We will mobilize as women and supporters of women to protect our rights and civil liberties,” organizers wrote on the fundraising page. “We stand in solidarity with other women’s marches planned across the country and the world on January 21 and WE WILL BE SEEN AND HEARD by the new administration. We are of varied races, ethnicities, ages, religions, sexual and gender identities, economic situations, politics, and countless other diversities. We share space on January 21 to express our diverse and similar concerns and protect our rights and our humanity.”

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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