A rally and march on the Woodstock Square July 22 marked the six-month anniversary of the Women’s March on Washington.
About 150 people, many of them carrying signs championing progressive causes, gathered in the Park in the Square to hear speeches before most participants marched around the Square and made their way to Dick Tracy Way Park on Lake Avenue.
Among the speakers who addressed the crowd was Kristina Zahorik, vice chair of the Democratic Party of McHenry County and state central committeewoman for the 14th Congressional District of the Democratic Party of Illinois.
“Being here today in Woodstock, on the Square, you’re part of history,” Zahorik told the crowd, referencing the city’s past as a stop on Grace Wilbur Trout’s suffrage tour in 1910. She encouraged attendees to run for local office and to lobby their lawmakers for change.
“Now is the time to insist that our leaders do what is right for this country,” Zahorik said.
The speeches focused on issues ranging from reproductive rights to immigrant rights to environmental issues. A group of women dressed in red robes, a reference to Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale,” in which women are subjugated and many are used primarily for procreation, were on hand to show support for Illinois House Bill 40, which aims in part to keep abortion legal in Illinois in the event that Roe v. Wade is struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Florence DeMeo, Woodstock, arrived at the rally with a sign reading “Women 4 Trump.” She called the event “one-sided” but said she doesn’t see a huge gulf between the marchers and supporters of President Donald Trump. The event was billed as bipartisan.
“President Trump is for clean air, clean water,” DeMeo said. “When he was running, one of the places he did go was to Detroit, Mich., to talk about their water. There’s a lot of things that were said here that he’s actually for, but they didn’t say that. Maybe they don’t know.”
Many of the participants in the Woodstock march said they had also attended other women’s rallies this year. The event was organized by McHenry County participants in the Women’s March on Washington.
Chloe Troub, a 16-year-old from Crystal Lake who wore a “Girl Power” shirt to the rally, said she was at the Jan. 21 demonstration in Washington, D.C., and was eager to show her support closer to home.
“I want people to know that the voices from the millions of marchers in January are still echoing today,” Troub said. “We’re still here, and we’re still resisting the actions of the government.”