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Time for another wealth transfer

By MisterLefty following x   2018 Jul 8, 1:56pm 149 views   0 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


Anti-violence protesters shut down Dan Ryan: 'Today was the attention-getter, but now comes the action'


For weeks, the Rev. Michael Pfleger said his intention was to shut down the busy South Side expressway for a demonstration designed to focus a spotlight on crime, joblessness and poverty plaguing city neighborhoods. Chicago police urged him to use a neighborhood street instead of the interstate. Illinois State Police threatened arrests.

The Saturday morning march kicked off with a compromise: demonstrators in half the northbound lanes, traffic in the others, separated by a barrier of highway trucks, emergency vehicles and uniformed officers.

But with semi-trucks crawling past the few thousand protesters crowded onto the expressway, Pfleger, the march’s chief organizer, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson stopped and reiterated their desire to fill all northbound lanes with chanting, drumming demonstrators. The priest from St. Sabina Catholic Church spoke with commanders at the scene, including Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

After about an hour, with protesters pressing toward the police line and traffic squeezing by in single file, officers agreed to close off the remainder of the lanes.

Pfleger, Jackson and Johnson then marched together, shoulder to shoulder, underneath a large cross reading, “Stop shooting.”

The stream of protesters marched north toward the city’s skyline until 67th Street, where they were funneled off the Dan Ryan. The full blockade lasted about an hour, with northbound traffic at a standstill and southbound travelers gawking at the scene throughout the morning. Authorities reported no arrests.

“We came out here to do one thing: to shut it down,” Pfleger said. “We came here to get their attention. Hopefully we got their attention. … Today was the attention-getter, but now comes the action.”

The spirited march jammed traffic in the area for hours and ignited a war of words between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Mayor Rahm Emanuel over logistics and the handling of the event.

Rauner posted a message on Twitter expressing his displeasure at the shutdown, saying the full northbound lane closure was not what had been negotiated.

“This is unacceptable,” Rauner tweeted at noon. “We had clear parameters that allowed the protestors to be heard while respecting law and order. Instead, they chose instead to cause chaos.”

In a second posting, he criticized Emanuel, who said Friday he supported the event and expressway setting.

“I’m disappointed in the Mayor. There was an agreement in place,” the governor wrote. “I am calling on the Mayor to take swift and decisive action to put an end to this kind of chaos. I will work with him in good faith and urge him to do his job so that the people of Chicago feel safe.”

Emanuel responded to Rauner in a Twitter post of his own: “It was a peaceful protest. Delete your account,” the mayor posted about 50 minutes after Rauner leveled criticism.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-dan-ryan-pfleger-violence-protest-20180706-story.html

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