Hundreds of white-clad women stood hand-in-hand with their mouths taped to show solidarity for Ukraine. Marching from Water Tower Place to Millennium Park on Sunday, the group uttered no words, but their message was clear.
“This protest is asking the American people, asking the government, asking President Biden to designate Russia as a terrorist state,” said Lilia Popovich, one of the protest organizers. “I’m calling this terrorism because when you’re bombing a shopping mall, when you’re bombing kids sleeping in their bedrooms in their PJs, it’s not war.”
Popovich, who hails from Ukraine, has been living in the United States for 11 years and said she was one of hundreds of women who joined the protest who have a friend or relative living in Ukraine.
“It’s so hard to sleep every day because you want to make sure your loved one is awake tomorrow,” Popovich said. “My friend is no longer alive, but I am very proud because he died for the freedom of Ukraine.”
Each demonstrator had a sign on his chest; Many people had the same message written on the poster board.
Tetina Baidin hosted one of the more popular posters:
“I want to tell you more about Russian terrorism but this is sensitive material for social media.”
“Our women and children are dying,” Badin said. “We are here today to let the whole world know that Russia is a terrorist state.
Popovich said that some incidents in Ukraine being prevented from public viewing were the inspiration for the silent protest.
At the end of the protest, all the women stood together and peeled the tape from their mouths to sing the US and Ukrainian national anthems before parting ways.
“Help Ukraine save the world, help us get more weapons, and stopping evil is the main message now,” Popovich said. “Evil that doesn’t stop just gets stronger.”