Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

SlutWalk 2016 defies police to take back Chicago streets
by Gretchen Rachel Hammond
2016-08-22

This article shared 989 times since Mon Aug 22, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


SlutWalk collective member Red Schulte described it as a "tug of war" with officers of the Chicago Police Department ( CPD ) when more than 700 participants of SlutWalk Chicago 2016 set out to reclaim the streets of the Magnificent Mile Aug. 20.

At stake was each SlutWalkers' right to turn those streets into an inclusive space that echoed with an impassioned "demand an end to rape culture, victim blaming, slut shaming and whorephobia."

Pitted against them was the CPD's determination to restrict the marchers to the Magnificent Mile's sidewalks.

With no prior knowledge of the route the SlutWalk was going to take, the CPD were often seen scrambling to herd participants using officers on bicycles and Segways as a human barricade.

However, the resolve of each member of the now five-year-old annual protest—fueled by anger at the systematic degradation and criminalization of the female body and a profound cry for the freedom, dignity and sanctuary of that body from attack whether through humiliation, violence or society's confinement—was often enough to turn the war to the marcher's favor.

Those moments were heralded by a resounding cheer when the bicycles fell back and the SlutWalkers claimed even a single block's worth of pavement as "our streets."

Whenever the CPD would not back down, the SlutWalk became a mass sit-in as participants took a break and instead blocked the northbound lane of the Michigan Avenue bridge and the intersection of Michigan and Ohio while becoming a consolidated megaphone that repeated the story of women like Alisha Walker who was convicted in January of second degree murder by a Cook County Jury and sentenced to 15 years in the death of a high school teacher—an act which Walker asserted was one of self-defense.

The SlutWalk would then resume its path north on Michigan Avenue until another intersection brought another stand-off with the CPD.

To bystanders, it was difficult to tell who was in control.

The SlutWalkers never once seemed to waiver. It was not so much that the CPD were able to force them to the sidewalks, but that the marchers felt like they were better served as venues to deliver messages to Magnificent Mile shoppers such as "teach your sons not to rape."

The day began with a noon rally at Millennium Park's Chicago Bean.

As the SlutWalkers gathered, it was employees of the park's private security firm who set themselves up as the event's primary antagonists.

They demanded that those women who had removed their tops immediately cover-up again, despite the fact that the marchers were protected from illegality by creatively designed pasties.

"We accept each other," a SlutWalk collective member declared. "There are people here in T-shirts and jeans, there are people here who choose to be top-free and we are not ashamed."

When members of the SlutWalk Collective tried to use a megaphone, Millennium Park Security ordered that it be switched off.

Ironically, when the CPD were called in and Schulte calmly explained the peaceful intention of the rally reminding them that each participant was well within her, his or their legal rights, Millennium Park Security was overruled despite their insistence that the area around The Bean was privately owned and subject to its own rules.

Those rules included a confusingly stated ordinance that members of the press have special permission to use a camera "that looks like it's for commercial and not personal use."

So, instead of using a megaphone, the SlutWalkers turned themselves into one.

The words "mic check" signaled a sentence-by-sentence repeat of the rally's messages with one hundred times the volume of any amplified sound system.

A small counter-protest had also gathered at The Bean.

Three men held up graphic and disturbing pictures of aborted, bloodied fetuses. They had also brought a megaphone through which they declared their opposition to abortion and various ultimatums that the SlutWalkers heed their Christian directives.

Millennium Park Security left them alone.

The SlutWalkers didn't and, instead, surrounded them with their bodies in order to combat violence with beauty and drown out religious intolerance with declarations of freedom.

Even the deafening sound of passing jets from the Chicago Air and Water Show could not prevail over the SlutWalkers rejection of "Language and mindsets that perpetuate rape culture, victim blaming, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia."

Schulte pointed out the "hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by this city making spectacles like the Air and Water Show happen when schools on the South and West sides are shut down."

"There is lead in the fucking water in Pilsen," Schulte said. "We are taking this commercial space for a reason. We have to take these public spaces back."

Those reasons were spelled out by speakers like Zilla— a representative of the Black Rose Anarchist Federation.

"When it comes to violence perpetuated against female-identified people and trans folks, the police and state as we have seen it are really not on our side," Zilla said before citing the cases of Marissa Alexander and CeCe McDonald—both of whom received long jail terms for acting in self-defense.

By contrast, Zilla named men such as Stanford University student Brock Turner who received a six month sentence for the sexual assault of a young woman and University of Colorado-Boulder student Austin Wilkerson who received two years of work release after raping a college freshman.

"College campuses across the country have been silencing, expelling, ignoring survivors or rape, sexual assault and targeted gender-based violence with Title IX," Schulte said. "They say [Title IX] is our only way to get justice. We call 'bullshit.' Justice is not a university covering its ass, slashing crucial resources on campus while at the same time over-paying wannabe cops who call themselves advocates in Title IX offices."

Schulte instead urged the SlutWalkers to imagine and build communities "Based on providing care. We must win a better world."

The SlutWalk then set off to do precisely that in a relentless will to "take the streets."

Their chants of "whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes, no means no" resounded along Michigan Avenue whether they were marching or sitting.

Despite such well-formed unity, there were moments when SlutWalk organizers had to quickly improvise.

When the CPD refused to allow the SlutWalkers to end the event at the Chicago Water Tower, the marchers continued north and instead gathered at the John Hancock Center to tell stories their deeply personal stories of survival.

One woman said that the SlutWalk was the only place she felt safe. As she broke into tears, she was immediately surrounded on all sides by her fellow marchers who hugged her tightly and assured her that, for as long as they were together and for as long as they had anything to say about it, she was.


This article shared 989 times since Mon Aug 22, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Actor Ezra Miler seeking treatment for mental-health issues
2022-08-16
After troubling behavior that has included charges of harassment and felony burglary, as well as allegations of assault and abuse, non-binary actor Ezra Miller (Justice League; The Perks of Being a Wallflower), said they are seeking ...


Gay News

WORLD Vietnam's pro-LGBTQ+ move, Grindr kidnappings, Taiwan event
2022-08-14
Video below - Vietnam took a major step forward in the recognition of LGBTQ+ rights with the country's Ministry of Health stating that being gay, bisexual or transgender is not a disease and urging medical practitioners to end discrimination ...


Gay News

NATIONAL: Conn. candidate, trans study, D.C. attacks, Palm Springs Pride
2022-08-14
LGBTQ Victory Fund-endorsed candidate Erick Russell won the Democratic primary election for Connecticut state treasurer, according to an organizational press release. With this victory, he is on track to become the first out Black LGBTQ+ person ...


Gay News

COVID CDC 'streamlines guidance'; new info for immunocompromised
2022-08-13
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement saying it is "streamlining its COVID-19 guidance to help people better understand their risk, how to protect themselves and others, what actions to take if ...


Gay News

Cook County officials discuss MPV timelines
2022-08-12
Members of the Cook County Health and Hospitals Committee gathered Aug. 8 to hear details from local health officials on the monkeypox virus' (MPV's) impact on both suburban Cook County and Chicago, and their planned responses. ...


Gay News

Monkeypox vaccine events being held Aug. 13-14
2022-08-12
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), along with City Colleges, will be holding monkeypox (MPV) vaccination events. The two events will be held at Malcolm X College on the West Side and Kennedy-King College on ...


Gay News

Young LGBQ adults experience more psychological distress than older LGBQ people
2022-08-11
-- From a Williams Institute press release - A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds younger LGBQ adults are physically healthier but have worse psychological distress than older LGBQ people. Researchers examined a representative sample of LGBQ people ...


Gay News

Howard Brown Health employees win union election
2022-08-11
More than 470 employees at Chicago-based Howard Brown Health clinics, Broadway Youth Center and Brown Elephant retail locations announced Aug. 10 that they have won their union election, with 97% of the votes cast. This is ...


Gay News

Big Cities Health Coalition holds monkeypox virus briefing
2022-08-11
Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) held a virtual monkeypox virus briefing Aug. 10 fthat ocused on local public health activities in Chicago. Speakers included BCHC Executive Director Chrissie Juliano and BCHC member and Chicago Department of ...


Gay News

Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom names first queer woman to state supreme court
2022-08-11
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his intention to appoint Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kelli Evans to serve as an associate justice of the California Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by Justice Guerrero's elevation ...


Gay News

Center on Halsted hosting monkeypox vaccine clinics
2022-08-10
Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., continues its monkeypox vaccine clinics through August. These clinics are for first-dose vaccinations only. Online registration for each clinic opens at 10 a.m. each Wednesday prior to that respective ...


Gay News

Dance for Life 2022 taking place Aug. 13 at the Auditorium Theatre
2022-08-09
-- From a press release - Chicago Dancers United (CDU), which supports the health and wellness of Chicago's professional dance community, presents seven companies and a world premiere finale for its 31st annual fundraiser, Dance for Life 2022. The event takes place ...


Gay News

Montreal Pride Parade is canceled
2022-08-08
Citing security concerns, the organizers of the Fierte Montreal Pride Parade abruptly canceled the Aug. 7 event at the last minute, The Washington Blade reported. The other events scheduled at the Esplanade of the Olympic Park—T-Dance ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Okla. schools, Tenn. lawsuit, political items, Mich. library
2022-08-07
Video below - Oklahoma public schools have started requiring students from kindergarten to college to complete "biological sex affidavits" if they want to compete in school sports, in accordance with a state law that took effect earlier this year, ...


Gay News

WORLD Zelensky, French position, UK drag-queen shows, triathlons
2022-08-07
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed he will ask Ukraine's government to look into legalizing same-sex marriage after the war with Russia ends, PinkNews reported. Ukraine's constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Last ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.