CHICAGO – A coalition of feminist and LGBTQ+ organizations will march on historic Michigan Avenue starting at 5 pm, Sunday, August 18th on the eve of the Democratic Convention as delegates, media and their entourages gather in the downtown area.

The coalition, Bodies Outside of Unjust Laws: Coalition for Reproductive Justice & LGBTQ+ Liberation (Bodies Outside) will be permitted to march on Michigan Avenue after the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit on their behalf last month. Bodies Outside demands that the 2024 Democratic National Convention act urgently in response to the wave of nationwide attacks on access to abortion care as well as the LGBTQ+ community. The group is demanding that national Democrats take federal action through legislation to protect bodily autonomy across the United States and is joining calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. 

The City will allow Bodies Outside to gather at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive (at the Chicago River) for a rally, and then march south to the General Logan statue in Grant Park, site of an iconic moment during the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention. The route will pass by Chicago venues popular with out-of-town visitors attending the convention – including the Bean and Millenium Park – as well as a number of hotels where DNC delegates and national media will be housed. 

“We are pleased that our demands for comprehensive and inclusive healthcare policies that affirm the needs of trans & queer people will be within sight and sound of people on and around Michigan Avenue,” said Kristi Keorkunian, of Bodies Outside of Unjust Laws. “Delegates and others gathering for the DNC need to hear this message – not just around the convention but every day.”

The resolution over the parade route resolves just one matter in the lawsuit filed in May. Other issues – especially a recently-adopted ordinance that created “security zones” around the United Center and McCormick Place during the days around the Convention – remain unresolved.  The security zones – which have not yet been announced – will prohibit people from carrying a vague set of articles, including a number of everyday items, inside the areas.

"We are happy to have a route for our march and to be able to move forward with planning with certainty," said Andy Thayer of Bodies Outside of Unjust Laws. "But we must be clear. It should not have been necessary for the intervention of a federal court to have this route approved. And the City continues to delay in creating a real, public plan for welcoming free expression activity around the Convention. We will continue the litigation to resolve the remaining issues."

“This is a good first step for our clients and for others seeking to peaceably assemble during the DNC this summer,” said Rebecca Glenberg, Senior Supervising Attorney at the ACLU of Illinois, who represents Bodies Outside in the matter. “Bodies Outside’s message will be seen and heard along one of Chicago’s most iconic corridors – Michigan Avenue. We are pleased that the City is no longer suggesting locations for the march that are far away from any delegate or participant in the Convention.”

Participants in the Bodies Outside March will assemble at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 18, the evening before the Convention officials kicks off.