CHICAGO – Demonstrators blocked on Thursday two miles of Lake Shore Drive, the main road that runs alongside the shoreline of Lake Michigan in Chicago, for over two hours, during a march against endemic gun violence that has claimed more than 300 lives this year in the neighborhoods where African-American communities live.
The protesters – not more than 200 people according to the police – chanted slogans to demand the resignations of the Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the superintendent of Chicago Police Department, Eddie Johnson.
Starting at Lake Shore, the demonstrators went toward Wrigley Field baseball stadium, where the Chicago Cubs were facing the San Diego Padres, to hold a press conference.
However, they did not try to enter the stadium as anticipated.
The march aims to “redistribute the pain” of gun violence and economic disparity plaguing some of Chicago’s African-American and Latino communities, said African-American pastor Gregory Livingston, one of the lead organizers.
That’s why it was decided to take the peaceful protest to the heart of the city, where the wealthy neighborhoods of the north are located, which are usually far from the gunfights provoked almost daily by gang members.
This is the second protest against violence in less than a month that blocked a highway in Chicago, after on July 7 Catholic priest Michael Pfleger organized a march that shut down the northbound lanes of the Dan Ryan Expressway for one hour.
Emanuel, who will seek his second re-election next year, has fallen out of favor among the African-American voters, who accuse him of covering up the police’s heavy-handed approach against the people of their communities.