Friday, November 28 Actions in Chicago

November 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Friday, November 28, there were a number of different actions in Chicago called by various forces demanding justice for Michael Brown. Here are some of them.


At Chicago's Magnificent Mile
"We're Not Here to Shop Till We Drop, We Are Here to Stop Killer Cops"

From a reader:

November 28—Magnificent Mile is a world-famous shopping area in Chicago where tens of thousands of people, including tourists from across the country and world, come to shop. On this Black Friday, their routine was challenged by a powerful protest/speakout for "Black Lives Matter Friday," led by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) at Water Tower. The chant "We're Not Here to Shop Till We Drop, We Are Here to Stop Killer Cops" could be heard for blocks.

Chicago November 28, protest at Water Tower against Grand Jury decision for Michael Brown

Protesters chanting at Chicago's Water Tower on "Black Lives Matter Friday."

At the protest/speakout dozens of people of all ages and nationalities lined the corner, standing up to this injustice. Revolutionaries spoke of the systemic nature of the crimes against Black people and the need for revolution. Students and professionals and others eloquently and movingly spoke out to each other and to the throngs of shoppers that they could not ignore the daily harassment, degradation, and police murder of Black people. Most of them had never demonstrated before and many were hesitant to speak at first, but some felt compelled to step forward as they gained strength from each other and in rebuttal to getting ignored and to racist remarks. One woman challenged all the people who tried to look away: "Oh, uncomfortable are you? Well, I've been uncomfortable for 37 years," as she described the life of Black people being profiled, made to feel invisible, suspected, and humiliated. As more and more people spoke out and joined in denouncing police murder and brutality, the numerous police present became more visibly tense.

Responses from the shoppers ranged from people who joined the protest or signed the banner, to curiosity or shock, to trying to ignore it, and a few who expressed open racist hostility.

The fact that one Black person is killed by the police every 28 hours in the U.S. was repeated by many who testified. Some young Black men gave moving testimony about how they had been treated by police, including one who couldn't go on after describing being threatened with arrest when he was 10 years old. Other people made a statement with their presence—defiantly holding signs, while dozens showed their solidarity by signing a banner that said "Ferguson Is Everywhere. Police Brutality and Murder MUST STOP."

A strong sense of unity was forged among those who participated, a sense of standing up against this injustice together with right on their side and a determination to not back down.

Some of the people involved included a group from an award-winning Black theater, a gay activist from Wisconsin, an activist public school teacher who brought her young children out in the subfreezing cold, a union organizer, and students from colleges and high schools in Chicago and around the country. Some came purposefully and others came to Michigan Avenue to shop and decided on the spot that they had to take a stand, including a number of people from out-of-state in Chicago for the holidays.

During the protest a truck with big signs, "Black Lives Matter Friday,"; "Ferguson Is Everywhere. Police Brutality and Murder MUST STOP!" and a huge "Justice for Mike Brown" banner circled the block.

Photo: Twitter/@OccupyChicago

There were other important protests that day, including at Water Tower, involving hundreds of people. (See below.)

“Black Friday” in Chicago—Black Lives Matter!

The day after Thanksgiving there were several protests called to turn Black Friday in Chicago into a day of protest demanding that "Black Lives Matter" and against the grand jury not indicting the cop who murdered Michael Brown.

The Water Tower and the "Magnificent Mile" are the center of upscale shopping in Chicago. At one demonstration called "Brown Friday" named after Michael Brown, Black Youth Project and We Charge Genocide members and others rallied over 200 people in a park across the street. The crowd marched for miles and held die-ins at Wicker Park and outside a Walmart.

Protesters gathering at Chicago Water tower park on BlackLivesMatterFriday. Photo: Twitter/@EthosIII


2 PM: Protesters stage a die-in at North & Damen in Chicago tying up traffic. Photo: Twitter/@EthosIII


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