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.


Strasbourg gunman Cherif Chekatt shot dead by police

Updated 14 December 2018
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Strasbourg gunman Cherif Chekatt shot dead by police

  • Chekatt was killed after firing on police officers, who returned fire
  • Reporters near the scene heard three to four gunshots after a huge police operation

LONDON: A gunman on the run since he killed three people at Strasbourg’s popular Christmas market has been shot dead by police.

More than 700 French security forces had been hunting for 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt since the bloodshed on Tuesday night.

Cherif Chekatt was killed in the Neudorf/Meinau area of the city after a police operation was launched around 2100 hrs (2000 GMT) on Thursday about 2 kilometers from where he launched his attack on Tuesday.

Chekatt was killed after firing on police officers, who returned fire, a source said.

Reporters near the scene heard three to four gunshots after a huge police operation with armed forces from the BRI and RAID units. A police helicopter had been circling overhead.

The death toll from Tuesday’s attack rose to three as police on Thursday combed the city in the east of France for a second day and manned checkpoints on the German border.

Police issued a wanted poster in multiple languages for Chekatt, who was the main suspect in the attack and who had been on a watchlist as a potential security threat.

Authorities say the 29-year-old was known to have developed radical religious views while in jail.

Earlier in the day armed and masked police swooped on Strasbourg neighborhoods with elite RAID officers fanning out across three locations in late afternoon, including the area where Chekatt was last seen.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said Chekatt’s parents and two brothers were being held in custody.

Two of his sisters in Paris were also questioned on Thursday and one of their homes was searched, a judicial source said.