A group of activists led by a Chicago minister plan to shut down the primary highway leading to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Labor Day.
Rev. Gregory Livingston, the organizer of the march who serves as a pastor at New Hope Baptist Church, told USA Today he plans to lead activists along the Kennedy Expressway on Labor Day to protest the violence and lack of opportunities for upward mobility in Chicago’s South and West Side neighborhoods.
“We must end Chicago’s tale of two cities,” said Livingston. “We will shut down O’Hare International Airport.”
Livingston posted several tweets on Sunday with the hashtag #OHARESHUTDOWN, including one outlining the protesters’ demands:
— Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston (@gslivingston) September 2, 2018
Livingston lists several demands, including calling for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s resignation and legislation that would require 20 percent of those employed to be black Americans.
Illinois State Police spokesperson Major David Byrd said authorities would not allow the demonstrators to block traffic and offered the activists alternative locations to hold their march hoping they would not have to make any arrests.
“We are prepared for all contingencies,” he said.
Chicago had its fair share of deaths from homicides in 2018. Chicago police counted 368 homicide incidents in the city this year as of August 2018, but officials noted it was a 20 percent decrease from the 460 murders that took place by August of 2017.
This is not the first time ultra-activist religious leaders in Chicago have planned to shut down a major highway in the area to protest the city’s violent deaths.
In July, left-wing activists Rev. Jesse Jackson and Catholic priest Father Michael Michael Pfleger shut down all northbound lanes of Chicago’s Dan Ryan Expressway on Interstate 94 to call for stronger gun control laws to combat the violence.