Protesters take to Lake Shore Drive for rush hour march to Wrigley | Chicago News

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Protesters on Chicago’s North Side closed all four lanes of Lake Shore Drive during rush hour Thursday afternoon in an effort to stem the tide of gun violence in the city and force the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Superintendent Policeman Eddie Johnson.

Although not the size of last month’s march on the Dan Ryan Freeway, protesters managed to close the north and south lanes of Lake Shore Drive for about 35 minutes before moving along Belmont Avenue and Clark Street to Wrigley Field.

Both northbound and southbound lanes are closed on part of Lake Shore Drive Thursday as protesters move across the roadway. (Matt Masterson/Chicago Tonight)

“We are proclaiming here that we are one Chicago,” former gubernatorial candidate and protest organizer Tio Hardiman said at a news conference on Lake Shore Drive. “We know what a community looks like that has resources and adequate school funding. One thing we notice is that this side of town doesn’t look like the south side of town, it doesn’t look like the west side of town. We call here for a Chicago.

Chicago police initially deployed about 400 officers to help divert traffic along the highway and other nearby arteries, but that total was reduced as the protest continued. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi estimated about 150 people participated in the march. No arrests were made.

Protesters gathered in Briar Place around 4 p.m. Thursday before marching north on the southbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive. From there the marchers exited at Belmont Avenue and moved west before heading north on Clark Street to Wrigley Field.


Hardiman and fellow organizer Reverend Gregory Seal Livingston said in Chicago Tonight this week that they hoped to “redistribute the pain” of violence and disinvestment felt disproportionately by residents of the city’s south and west sides. .

“We’re at the totem pole,” Hardiman said. “We are tired, that’s why we come from the north side with our message.”

March organizer Tio Hardiman begins gathering protesters near south Lake Shore Drive on Thursday afternoon ahead of the scheduled 4 p.m. departure.  (Matt Masterson/Chicago Tonight)March organizer Tio Hardiman begins gathering protesters near south Lake Shore Drive on Thursday afternoon ahead of the scheduled 4 p.m. departure. (Matt Masterson/Chicago Tonight)

Livingston previously told Chicago Tonight that the march was “catalyzed” by the police shooting of Harith Augustus in South Shore last month. Protesters say they are also demanding justice for Augustus, Maurice Granton and Laquan McDonald, who were each killed in shootings involving officers, as well as police oversight and economic development on the south and west sides of the city.

“We want control of the Chicago police and we want control of their budget,” said protester Joseph Eccleston. because that’s where the majority of the killings take place.

Hours before the protest was scheduled to start, Livingston also asked performers on the opening day of Lollapalooza to forgo their performances and join the North Side March in an act of solidarity.

Thursday’s event comes about a month after South Side protesters led by Reverend Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic Church successfully closed a 1.5-mile stretch of the Dan Ryan Freeway during a a march against gun violence.

But that protest took place on a Saturday morning with Emanuel’s blessing and involved dozens of Chicago and Illinois state police who helped divert traffic for more than an hour to allow marchers to get on the very busy thoroughfare.

Thursday’s protest took place around rush hour on a weeknight, just hours before a Chicago Cubs home game. Organizers said they didn’t strategize with Chicago police — who maintain jurisdiction over Lake Shore Drive — until they arrived at Lake Shore Drive.

On July 24, 2018, Reverend Gregory Seal Livingston announces plans for an August 2 anti-violence protest along Lake Shore Drive.  (Chicago tonight)On July 24, 2018, Reverend Gregory Seal Livingston announces plans for an August 2 anti-violence protest along Lake Shore Drive. (Chicago tonight)

Livingston and Hardiman said it would be a non-violent protest, but in their conversation with Chicago Tonight, they seemed split on whether they expected attendees to be arrested.

“We’re not looking to arrest anyone, OK, we’re not looking for confrontations with people here,” Hardiman said. We come in peace.”

Livingston said the arrest was not a “requirement” but acknowledged it was a possibility.

“It would be an honor,” he said. “It really would be.”


A selection of tweets from our reporters on site:





















Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMasterson | [email protected] | (773) 509-5431


Related stories:

Lake Shore Drive march: Activists protest police-involved shootings

Protesters plan to close Lake Shore Drive, march in Wrigley

Fatal police-involved shooting sparks third night of community protests

Dan Ryan March: Pfleger and activists close freeway to protest violence


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