Anti-Gun Protesters Shut Down Major Chicago Highway

Highway Rally
Twitter/@MattFinnFNC

Thousands of anti-gun protesters shut down lanes of a major Chicago highway to pressure lawmakers to enact gun control measures to address the increase in violent deaths in the city.

The left-wing protesters, led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Catholic priest Father Michael Pfleger, shut down all northbound lanes of Chicago’s Dan Ryan Expressway on Interstate 94 Saturday morning after a standoff between the police and the demonstrators.

The marchers carried signs that read, “We need jobs,” and chanted, “Stop the killing,” as they walked down the 1.5-mile stretch of highway to let lawmakers know their desire for better schools, more jobs, and stronger gun control laws to combat the violence in their communities.

Some children even stopped to use chalk to write the words, “Enough is enough,” along the highway route.

“When people keep ignoring you, you take it up a notch,” Pfleger said. “We are going to continue to take it up a notch until we get responses.”

The Illinois State Police reached an agreement with the demonstrators early Saturday morning that the protesters could take up two northbound lanes and allow traffic to pass through the other two lanes.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office said in a statement that protesters who ignored the boundaries set by highway workers would face arrest and possible prosecution.

But Pfleger and other protesters ignored the warnings, saying they would occupy the entire northbound section of the highway.

After hearing of the chaotic situation that led to the shutdown of the highway, Rauner tweeted his disappointment in Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for not controlling the protesters.

Emanuel quickly fired back at the Illinois governor, tweeting that he should “delete” his account for criticizing the “peaceful” protest.

Rauner later thanked law enforcement for their efforts to police the massive protest.

The Dan Ryan Expressway, which encompasses parts of Interstate 94 and 90, has a history dating back to the 1960s when it was believed to be a symbol of racial segregation because of how it served as a divider between white neighborhoods and poor black neighborhoods.

Chicago had its fair share of homicides and shootings in the first six months of 2018. Chicago police said the city counted 252 homicides and 1,100 shootings during that period, mostly in low-income, predominantly black neighborhoods.

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