Protesters shut down part of Chicago freeway
Thousands of anti-violence protesters marched along a Chicago interstate Saturday, shutting down traffic to draw attention to the gun violence that’s claimed hundreds of lives in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods and pressure public officials to do more to stop it.
Marchers chanted, “Stop the killing,” and carried signs reading, “We need jobs,” and other messages. Some stopped to scrawl on the road with chalk: “Enough is enough” and “Peace.” Toward the front of the march the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Roman Catholic priest on the city’s South Side who organized the protest; Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson; and the Rev. Jesse Jackson linked arms.
“The people won today because the people showed up. They saw this many people out here, black and white and brown and young and old, and saying, ‘We’re tired of the damn violence in Chicago,”’ Pfleger said after completing the roughly 1.5-mile route.
“We want the governor, the mayor, the elected officials and the community all to come together and say, ‘We want peace now.”’
The march took place along the northbound lanes of Interstate 94, known as the Dan Ryan Expressway, after a roughly hourlong standoff between police and the protesters. The expressway was fully reopened less than 90 minutes later, after the protest ended.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner took to Twitter to call the shutdown “unacceptable,” saying there had been parameters set to allow protesters to march while “respecting law and order” but that protesters instead chose “chaos.” The Republican also said he was “disappointed” in Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.