Black Grassroots Activists Protest Obama Fundraiser, City Hall, ABC News in Chicago
Thursday evening in Chicago, black grassroots activists fed up with manipulation of their suffering by city leadership turned out to protest a fundraiser for President Obama held by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Speaker of the General Assembly Michael Madigan.
According to the protesters, Emanuel, Madigan, and Obama pretend to try to help their community but do nothing to curb the funneling of money and contracts to corrupt community organizations and union-controlled worksites that won’t hire black labor.
The protest began in the lobby of the building where the fundraiser took place and proceeded with a march past City Hall, ending up in front of the ABC 7 News studio on State Street.
According to Mark Carter of the Broke Party, a newly formed group of black grassroots activists fed up with the destruction and blight brought on their community by the liberal agenda, the protest was “about bringing attention to the demolition of homes in Chicago’s black communities on the west and south sides.” These buildings, Carter says, “can still be saved, but the city is tearing them down,” leaving property values and the community in the gutter.
Carter told Breitbart News they chose the Obama fundraiser as the starting point for the protest in order to send a direct message to Rahm Emanuel and Washington, D.C. that they will not be voting on Tuesday for those politicians who are allowing their homes and community to be demolished.
In an effort to bring even further attention to the ongoing issues of the black community in Chicago, the protest ended up outside of ABC 7 News’s local broadcast studio on State Street. This studio can be viewed from the street and sidewalk. When the protesters arrived, they used a bullhorn to announce themselves and called on weather reporter Jerry Taft, seen through the window, not to pretend they weren’t there, prompting a wave from Taft to the protesters.
The protesters waved anti-union signs, anti-NAACP, anti-Rainbow Push, and signs reading "Rahm Hates Black People" in front of the studio as Kathy Brock and Alan Krashesky broadcasted the evening news. They demanded their voices be heard and criticized Emanuel for acting in cahoots with community-organizing front groups ACORN and ACTION Now to put properties in the community into the organizations’ hands. These actions by the Mayor and the corrupt “Chicago Machine” have ensured that construction work only goes to the unions, effectively keeping the residents of the community unemployed.
J.R. Fleming, another protester, declared that these community groups “do not represent the interests” of their communities or of black leaders in their communities. Fleming continued:
We want to work in our communities, we want to train the young boys and girls on the block… they need jobs and opportunity… we demand the mayor of the city of Chicago respect us, respect our community and allow us to work in our own neighborhoods… We are not asking for your money… It’s clear to us you ain’t gonna house us, it’s clear to us you ain’t gonna put us to work, so it’s clear to us that we must do this ourselves.
A real estate investor who was part of the protest told Breitbart News that he has been prevented from doing business in his own community. According to him, he wants to purchase several properties, but the city has been ignoring his potential investment—and local community leaders’ advice—instead picking and choosing buildings to tear down, at the recommendation of the Chicago Police Department. These buildings, according to the investor, are ones “that could be rehabbed.”
This was the plan Mayor Rahm Emanuel implemented earlier this year in an effort “to prevent crime and lower the murder rate,” but it instead appears to circumvent the community members’ potential to add value and help craft their own community’s future. As these residents said, “buildings don’t kill people, criminals do.”
Paul McKinley, another activist from the black community, points to all of these issues as reasons why the unemployment rate continues to increase in the black community. While Friday’s jobs report indicates the black unemployment rate has risen to 14 percent, McKinley flat-out rejects that claim and points to a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee study that shows the black unemployment in 2010 for black males between 16-64 was 54.1 percent—a figure McKinley believes is only worse now.
McKinley said, “the media won’t cover our issues” and that they are allowing the city to continue the destruction of their community through gentrification. This, he belives, is part of the liberal agenda and is by design. Other activists at the protest chastised ABC 7 News as a “racist-liberal” news outlet that is just a “mouthpiece for Rahm Emanuel.”
Despite a significant news event occurring on their very doorstep, ABC 7’s Brock and Krashesky fled the newsroom and ignored the activity from the peaceful grassroots protesters outside. ABC 7 failed to send even one cameraman or reporter to investigate the protest and see what was going on.