‘This is a march of civil disobedience’ [PHOTOS] | Feature | Chicago Reader

‘This is a march of civil disobedience’ [PHOTOS] 

Scenes from last week's protest that shut down Lake Shore Drive

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Last Thursday protesters converged on Lake Shore Drive during rush hour and shut down traffic as they marched to Wrigley Field, where the Cubs were playing the Padres. Police estimated that 150 protesters proceeded to the ballpark, and while the organizers disputed that head count, they judged the event a success at "redistributing the [city's] pain" by disrupting the streets full of buses, fans, and tourists.

"This was an excellent showing. It was a diverse crowd—red, yellow, brown, black, and white," said co-organizer Reverend Greg Livingston, interim pastor at New Hope Baptist Church. "Chicago was intentionally segregated, and our purpose [is to] intentionally desegregate this city because we're all one people."

Co-organizer and anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman called for "more deescalation training of the police department and the immediate end to the killings of African-American youth" by police. "This is a march of civil disobedience," he said.
Meanwhile, officers on foot, horseback, and bicycles created a barricade on both sides of the Drive. Starting at 4:30 PM, with temperatures in the 80s, organizers mobilized marchers onto the roadway to formally express their demands that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Department superintendent Eddie Johnson resign.

Police said there were no arrests made and no altercations reported.

"We're marching together, we're gathering together, we have demands together as a people," community peace worker Ameena Matthews told the crowd.

Business as usual at a number of storefronts and offices was interrupted by the chants, drums, and whistles along Belmont Avenue and Clark Street. Some Wrigleyville residents, like Joe Olszewski, a learning experience manager for a software company, watched from their apartment windows as the march proceeded down the block.

"I think this is exactly what people need to be doing at this time," Olszewski said. "To cause a disruption to make things work, to make a change—that's what these people are doing, and I'm here for it. This is one city, and everybody needs to fight for the same things."

It took nearly two hours for the protesters to travel from Belmont to Wrigley Field. Outside the stadium, Livingston, Hardiman, and fellow marchers took a knee for a moment of prayer while Cubs fans looked on from the stands.

Buses were still arriving as Hardiman and Livingston stood up.

"We had buses that dropped off people that didn't even make it [to the ballpark on time] because they got held up," said Livingston later. "Lollapalooza did the same thing to us that we did to everybody else: held them up, but that's just life in the big city."

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