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Anti-Gun Protesters Shut Down Major Chicago Highway

09 July 2018

Parkland school shooting survivor Aalayah Eastmond and Trevon Bosley, who lost his own brother to gun violence in Chicago, were among the thousands of marchers.

The Rev. Michael Pfleger, who helped organize the protest, credited Chicago Police Supt.

Illinois State Police shut down one lane of the Dan Ryan Expressway on Saturday to allow protesters to march along the interstate. "We want the governor, the mayor, the elected officials and the community all to come together and say we want peace now". "We had clear parameters that allowed the protestors to be heard while respecting law and order".

"I'm disappointed in the Mayor", Rauner tweeted, referring to Emmanuel. The mayor responded on Twitter, calling the march a "peaceful protest" and told the governor to "delete your account".

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel didn't have time for critics on Saturday.

Protesters march on the Dan Ryan Expressway on Saturday in Chicago.

The southbound lanes remained opened, although traffic crawled through the protest area.

"Shut it down! Shut it down!" the crowd shouted at one point.

Eventually, police agreed that the march could take place in the northbound lanes, effectively shutting down the expressway toward downtown Chicago for about an hour, the newspaper reported.

Soon after, protesters shut down all of the northbound lanes.

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Rev. Jesse Jackson, who linked arms with Pfleger at the protest, said the city still maintains "ghetto borders", actual or imagined, created to keep "guns and drugs in - and jobs and schools out". He noted the city closes major roads for parades and other occasions.

Protesters shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway during an anti-violence protest in Chicago on July 7, 2018.

The Illinois State Police have warned of arrests if they move forward with the march.

"There was an agreement reached and we're going to fulfill our part of that agreement", said ISP Director Leo Schmitz. He said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson got involved and negotiated with state authorities to shut down the whole expressway.

After the march Saturday, Bosley, who lost his brother to gun violence, said it was "empowering" to see so many people march despite warnings they could be arrested.

Protesters planning to shut down a major Chicago interstate say they're trying to pressure public officials to address the gun violence that's claimed hundreds of lives in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods.

ISP, CPD, and IDOT personnel will be on the expressway providing a safety barrier between the motoring public traveling on the interstate and the marchers. Some believe the roadway was built in the early 1960s to separate white communities and poor, black ones.

It was the kind of racial and economic segregation that still exists in Chicago today.

Thousands of protesters against Chicago's pervasive gun violence on Saturday partially shut down a major expressway in the third-largest United States city, which leads the country in murders. Step two is now meet with our young people and tell us how you're going to answer for resources, for jobs, for affordable housing, for good schools, to help those coming back from incarceration.

Anti-Gun Protesters Shut Down Major Chicago Highway