Anti-violence protesters block major Chicago highway

Anti-violence protesters block major Chicago highway
Anti-violence protesters block major Chicago highway

Protesters marched down streets in Chicago Thursday to draw attention to the city’s gun violence, briefly shutting down a major highway during rush hour.

Their goal was to raise awareness about areas of the city with high crime rates and violence, according to the demonstration’s organizers.

Police closed the highway, Lake Shore Drive, out of concern for the protesters’ safety. The protest was eventually endorsed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a move not supported by the protesters.

Demonstrators have been calling for the resignation of Emanuel, saying he has not done enough to stop gun violence and gun-related crime.

“We the people are not asking and do not want your backing nor sanctioning. The chant of the people is Resign Rahm! Resign Rahm! Resign Rahm!” said Reverend Gregory Livingston, an organizer of the protest, in a statement to Emanuel.

The protesters also called for the resignation of police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

In July, there was another protest after a black man was shot and killed by a police officer. The Chicago Police Department defended the officer, sparking outrage.

Chicago has been known in recent years for its high crime rate and violence. While declining compared to past years, the number of murders in the city remains high, at 304 so far this year, according to the Chicago Tribune. The majority of the deaths were caused by gun violence.

“The powers that be should understand that there is a major need for more economic development on the southwest and east side of Chicago,” Tio Hardiman, another organizer, said on Twitter.

The demonstration ended with a rally at Wrigley Stadium, where a baseball game was being played between the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres.