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Protesters Take to Lake Shore Drive for Rush Hour March to Wrigley


Protesters on the North Side of Chicago shut down 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 police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

Though it didn’t match the size of last month’s march on the Dan Ryan Expressway, protesters succeeded in shutting down both northbound and southbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive for about 35 minutes before moving along Belmont Avenue and Clark Street toward Wrigley Field.

Northbound and southbound lanes are closed on a portion of Lake Shore Drive on Thursday as protesters move onto the roadway. (Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)Northbound and southbound lanes are closed on a portion of Lake Shore Drive on Thursday as protesters move onto the roadway. (Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

“We are here proclaiming that we are one Chicago,” former gubernatorial candidate and protest organizer Tio Hardiman said during a press conference held on Lake Shore Drive. “We know what a community looks like that has resources and adequate school funding. One thing we notice that this side of town does not look like the South Side of town, it does not look like the West Side of town. We are here calling for one Chicago.”

Chicago Police initially deployed around 400 officers to help divert traffic along the drive and other nearby arterials, but that total was scaled back as the protest went on. Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi estimates about 150 people participated in the march. No arrests were made.

Protesters gathered on 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 the Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston told Chicago Tonight this week they hope to “redistribute the pain” of violence and disinvestment that’s been disproportionately felt by residents on the South and West sides of the city.

“We’re at the bottom of the totem pole,” Hardiman said. “We are tired, that is why we are coming to the North Side with our message.”

March organizer Tio Hardiman begins to gather protesters near southbound Lake Shore Drive on Thursday afternoon ahead of the planned 4 p.m. start. (Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)March organizer Tio Hardiman begins to gather protesters near southbound Lake Shore Drive on Thursday afternoon ahead of the planned 4 p.m. start. (Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

Livingston previously told Chicago Tonight the march was “catalyzed” by the police shooting of Harith Augustus in South Shore last month. Protestors say they’re also seeking justice for Augustus, Maurice Granton and Laquan McDonald, who were each killed in officer-involved shootings, along with police oversight and economic development on the South and West sides of the city.

“We want control of Chicago Police and we want control of their budget,” protester Joseph Eccleston said “We don’t have no mental institutions, we’ve got no trauma centers on the South Side of Chicago, which we should have more of because that’s where the majority of the killing is going on.”

Hours before the protest was scheduled to begin, Livingston also asked artists at the opening day of Lollapalooza to forego their performances and instead take part in the North Side march in an act of solidarity.

Thursday’s event comes about a month after protesters on the South Side led by the Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic Church successfully shut down a 1.5-mile stretch of the Dan Ryan expressway in a march against gun violence.

But that protest occurred on a Saturday morning with Emanuel’s blessing and featured scores of Chicago and Illinois State police who helped divert traffic for more than an hour to allow marchers onto the 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.

The Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston on July 24, 2018 announces plans for an anti-violence protest Aug. 2 along Lake Shore Drive. (Chicago Tonight)The Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston on July 24, 2018 announces plans for an anti-violence protest Aug. 2 along Lake Shore Drive. (Chicago Tonight)

Livingston and Hardiman have said this will be a non-violent protest, but in their conversation with Chicago Tonight, they seemed split on whether they expected participants to be arrested.

“We’re not looking for anybody to be arrested, OK, we’re not looking for any clashes with the people here,” Hardiman said. We come in peace.”

Livingston said being arrested is not a “requirement,” but recognized it is a possibility.

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

A selection of tweets from our reporters on the scene:





















Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMastersonmmasterson@wttw.com | (773) 509-5431


Related stories:

Lake Shore Drive March: Activists to Protest Police-Involved Shootings

Protesters Plan to Shut Down Lake Shore Drive, March to Wrigley

Fatal Police-Involved Shooting Prompts 3rd Night of Community Protests

Dan Ryan March: Pfleger, Activists Shut Down Expressway for Anti-Violence Protest


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