Chicagoans travel to inauguration to protest, celebrate

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The day after the inauguration, women from around the country will march on Washington to send a message to Donald Trump. Many of them will be wearing distinctive pink hats, including some knitted in a Chicago store. But others will be traveling to celebrate Trump's swearing-in.


The march will call attention to many women's issues, and many of its participants will be wearing distinct pink hats including some knitted in Chicago.
In the days after the presidential election, many women upset with the outcome turned to knitting; not for recreation, but to make a political statement. They've been churning out pink hats with a distinct cat-ear design, a symbol of concern over the future of women's rights during the Trump administration.

"Many of our knitters were finishing up their holiday projects, so it really became a much stronger effort after New Year's," said Donna Palicka, owner of Sister Arts Studio.

Sister Arts Studio in Lincoln Park is one of many knitting stores across the country hosting knitting parties to produce large numbers of the pink hats ahead of the Women's March on Washington Saturday.

The goal is to provide the hundreds of thousands of women expected to descend on the nation's capital with hats as a sign of unity. Palicka said it takes about five hours to knit each hat, and they could fetch between $20 and $50 if on sale, but she said the hats will be handed out to women at the march at no cost.

Among those attending the march are students from Francis Parker School who, on Friday, will board buses that get to D.C. Saturday morning.
"We are here to stay and we have our rights, and we're going to both protect them and defend them and create new rights," said student Priscilla Roman.

"Even though I can't vote, I still want it to be known that I care and that I do have a voice," said student Morenike Fabiyi.
The march quickly evolved from a suggestion on social media the day after the election to a nationwide effort, with participants calling attention to a variety of issues. Mrinalini Chakraborty organized the Illinois contingent.

"This is a march for women's rights and the rights of all marginalized population, but at the same time if you believe in women's rights, if you believe in civil rights for all individuals, there is no reason why you cannot march with us shoulder to shoulder," Chakraborty said.

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Illinois supporters are enthusiastic ahead of the Friday inauguration of Donald J. Trump.

While a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds just 40 percent of Americans approve of how Trump has handled the transition, Illinois supporters are enthusiastic ahead of Friday's inauguration.

For Stephanie Holderfield, Jan. 20 can't come fast enough. The Illinois director for the Donald Trump campaign said when invitations for the inauguration, parade and ball arrived in the mail she was breathless and she thinks Trump's speech will be unifying.

"He will be looking to bring us together, I believe and I think he will be talking like he always does, speaking to middle America and I think that is who he will touch the most," she said.

A diverse group of Trump supporters stopped by ABC7 to offer their insights and enthusiasm for the new administration.

"This is the first time I have cared enough about a candidate to go to Washington," said Audrey Tancos.

Many in the group were small business owners who volunteered during the campaign on Trump's behalf. Madelyn Flaherty is most looking forward to the actually swearing-in the most.

"That makes it official and it's actually President Trump," she said.

Talat Rashid, a Muslim business owner from Bolingbrook, met Trump twice and has been a fan for years. He said it's been "tough" for him in Illinois being both a Republican and a Muslim who supports Trump.

Despite backlash from family and his own community, Rashid believes Trump will bring back manufacturing jobs and make the country more secure.

"This is the candidate I supported from day one and I want to make sure when he says 'I am president of the United States' I am there to see it," he said.

Lori Yokoyama headed up Illinois Asian Americans for Trump. Her husband was a Trump delegate at the Republican National Convention.

"I'm an attorney. It was very, very important to me we had somebody in the office who understood not just politics but the economics and how to make the country, as he would say, great again," she said.

Burr Ridge mayor Mickey Straub said it was difficult for anyone in Illinois to be a Trump supporter, but especially for an elected official.

"He spoke to middle America, and he spoke to common sense, and the things he said resonated with people," Straub said.

Nearly 40 percent of Illinois voters cast their ballots for Trump.


Students from Alcott College Prep on Chicago's North Side are also attending the inauguration. They flew out of Midway International Airport Wednesday morning.

Congressman Mike Quigley gave about 40 lucky kids tickets to the event. This isn't the first time he's done that. Quigley invited students from the same school to President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2012.

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