What I Saw of the Family Separation Protest in Chicago

The demonstration in Chicago was part of a nation-wide protest of Trump’s immigration policies, most particularly the practice of family separation. Several dozen demonstrations took place around the country. The Chicago demonstration was large. Organizers put crowd estimates at 60,000. Police were not far behind with 50,000. I’m inclined to think those numbers are reasonable and conservative participation estimates but the crowd, at any one time, was likely rather less than that. No matter the number, it was big.

There were a very few counter demonstrators, probably no more than a half dozen anti-abortion advocates. And what did that have to do with an immigrants’ rights protest? They were clearly provocateurs as this particular demonstration would not at all been unanimously pro-choice, but they were treating it as enemy territory. Mostly, they were ignored, but eventually some of the more militant of our side surrounded them and began chanting, “Bullshit! Bullshit!” etc. I expect the counter demonstrators had been hoping for martyrdom of some kind but it was all non-violent if heated.

After a rally in Daley Plaza where almost none of the speakers were intelligible (plaza acoustics are treacherous), the rally formed up for a march down Clark Street and back up Dearborn Street. The head of the march made it back to the Plaza before the tail had left.

It was hot. The CTA had several cooling buses parked at the bus kiosk for the rally. The Chicago Fire Department had a fan driven mist machine stationed on Clark Street for the march. A portion of the crowd was clearly hydrophobic despite the heat.

Here are a selection of the photos, in reverse order, that I took before the camera’s battery gave out. Click a photo to enlarge it.