Thousands to march in Chicago against Trump’s ‘anti-woman agenda’

In this file photo taken on January 20, 2018 protesters hold up a sign near the White House following the Women's March on Washington 2018: March On The Polls! on the National Mall in Washington DC. Energized by a bitter fight over a US Supreme Court justice nominee, thousands of women were expected to march Saturday in Chicago and cast early midterm election ballots against the "anti-woman agenda" of President Donald Trump's administration. (AFP / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)
Updated 12 October 2018
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Thousands to march in Chicago against Trump’s ‘anti-woman agenda’

  • Organizers timed the march to coincide with the run-up to the crucial November 6 midterm elections
  • They said similar marches fueled by anger over the Kavanaugh confirmation were scheduled later in October in other states
CHICAGO: Energized by a bitter fight over a US Supreme Court justice nominee, thousands of women were expected to march Saturday in Chicago and cast early midterm election ballots against the “anti-woman agenda” of President Donald Trump’s administration.
The protest organized by Women’s March Chicago was a sign of the political fallout from the partisan fight to confirm Trump’s nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the nation’s highest court despite sexual assault allegations.
Organizers timed the march to coincide with the run-up to the crucial November 6 midterm elections, when Democrats could wrest away control of the lower house of Congress from Republicans.
They said similar marches fueled by anger over the Kavanaugh confirmation were scheduled later in October in other states, including the Republican strongholds of Texas, Georgia and South Carolina.
“Women are very upset over the Kavanaugh confirmation and are fired up to vote,” Women’s March Chicago spokeswoman Harlene Ellin told AFP.
All but one Republican in the US Senate voted in favor of Kavanaugh’s elevation to the Supreme Court. All but one Democrat voted against.
Women’s March Chicago said in a statement that it was targeting the “anti-woman agenda of the White House and the Republican party.”
After a rally and a march, protesters were to be directed to early voting locations in downtown Chicago to cast ballots.
Republicans currently hold the White House and both chambers of Congress, but many in the GOP fear anti-Trump voters will overwhelm the president’s supporters in the midterm elections.
The protests came as early voting was ramping up in Illinois, and had already begun in more than a dozen other states. More will join in in the coming days.
Most states allow early voting by mail-in ballot or at a limited number of polling stations. The process allows those who cannot show up at polls on election day to have a chance to vote.
Chicago organizers insisted their event — where a giant “Baby Trump” balloon was to make an appearance — did not favor any one party, even though funding came largely from unions and Democrat-aligned groups.
“We want to take back the reins of a government that is out of control, and give to lawmakers who can steer us always in the right direction,” Women’s March Chicago organizer Eman Hassaballa Aly told a news conference earlier in the week.
Simultaneous marches were to be held in nearby cities in Republican areas of Illinois — outside of the Democrat-stronghold of Chicago.
“Our marching community is fired up to begin the process of voting out politicians who ignore, demean and disrespect women,” Women’s March Chicago said in a news release.
“With the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, women across the country have been calling for marches more broadly where they can vocalize their dissatisfaction regarding his elevation to one of the most powerful positions in our country.”
Previous women’s march protests have included plenty of anti-Trump rhetoric. Protests in January shut down streets in dozens of American cities. In Chicago, hundreds of thousands marched.
The appearance of the “Baby Trump blimp” — as dubbed by British media — will be the first at a major American protest.
The inflatable was designed as a virtual poke in the eye at the president during his visit to Britain over the summer.
Activists in New Jersey created six duplicates, which they planned to float around the country.
After Chicago, it will next appear in Los Angeles and New York.


Ninth lawmaker quits Britain’s opposition Labour Party

Updated 22 February 2019
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Ninth lawmaker quits Britain’s opposition Labour Party

  • Corbyn, a supporter of Palestinian rights and critic of the Israeli government, has previously been accused by some of failing to tackle anti-Semitism in the party. He denies the allegation

LONDON: British lawmaker Ian Austin resigned from the opposition Labour Party on Friday, the ninth person to do so this week, saying it was “broken” and had been taken over by the “hard left.”

Austin said he was appalled at the treatment of Jewish lawmakers who had taken a stand against anti-Semitism and that the “the party is tougher on the people complaining about anti-Semitism than it is on the anti-Semites.”

“The Labour Party has been my life, so this has been the hardest decision I have ever had to take, but I have to be honest and the truth is that I have become ashamed of the Labour Party under (leader) Jeremy Corbyn,” he told the Express and Star newspaper.

“I could never ask local people to make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister.”

Corbyn has promised to drive anti-Semitism out of the party.

Austin said he did not currently have any plans to join The Independent Group in parliament, launched by seven of his former Labour colleagues on Monday and since joined by an eighth as well as three former members of the governing Conservatives.

A Labour lawmaker since 2005 and a former government minister, Austin supports Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal and is not in favor of holding a second referendum, putting him at odds with the other Independent Group members.