Netiya Shiner and Maria Gomez are Shimer students participating in the Shimer Internship/Mentorship (SIM) Program. They regularly post updates about their internship experiences.
This post is from Netiya, who is interning with the Illinois Choice Action Team.
Hello again folks! This week was very busy for the Illinois Choice Action Team; between many protests around downtown Chicago, a rally for women's reproductive rights at Daley Plaza, and volunteering at Pitchfork Music Festival, there is a lot to talk about.
To start, ICAT volunteers spent last Monday and Tuesday at protests in downtown Chicago. We were outside protesting the "Pro-Life Action League" once again - every year they organize an event called the "Face the Truth Tour" in which anti-choice protestors lie to women about supposed links between abortion and breast cancer, as well as the effectiveness of various methods of contraception. We arrived downtown at 11:30 to protest their event, and we were happy to see they had a relatively small turnout.
Though both sides were fairly small (it was at 11:30am on a Monday), ICAT organizers and volunteers were responsible for the success of the protests. At the events we met allies from the Chicago chapter of the National Organization for Women, the Chicago Foundation for Women, and the Chicago ISO, all of us working together to keep abortion safe and legal. While I enjoy protesting for women's rights, one thing amazed me in particular about these protests: the amount of support we received from pedestrians and passersby. Countless individuals stopped to thank us personally for protesting, women and men of all ages and races. This was wonderful motivation for protesting! (Along with getting my picture taken, of course...
Then on Monday evening some ICAT volunteers (including myself and ICAT co-chair Benita Ulisano) went to a rally at Daley Plaza. The event was organized by members of the Chicago ISO and was extremely sucessful! Progress Illinois wrote this article about the event, which includes a great video. My close friend and fellow ICAT volunteer Nora made the lovely sign in the top right of this photo (which reads "MY BODY MY CHOICE"):