Taking Up "Ferguson Is Everywhere" in the Heart of Chicago's West Side

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

Bringing traffic to a halt on Interstate-290, Chicago, December 6

Bringing traffic to a halt on Interstate-290, Chicago, December 6. Photo: FJJ

Chicago West Side, December 6.

Chicago West Side, December 6. Photo: FJJ

Chicago West Side, December 6. Photo: FJJ

December 6—At the intersection of Madison and Pulaski, the heart of Chicago’s impoverished West Side, a crowd of 75 people opened an afternoon of raucous  protest that swelled to more than 200 at its height and included the shutdown of a major interstate highway. The initial call for this gathering came from the Chicago Revolution Club and some people from the neighborhood who rallied there several days before. Families of people murdered by police displayed banners of their loved ones, youth took up “Ferguson is Everywhere” posters and wrote the names of friends killed or brutalized by cops on the back. Many people also held up Revolution newspaper as their poster. A couple hundreds copies were distributed along with the call to a mass meeting of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network the next day.

The protest was overwhelmingly people from the hood. But they were joined by people who had come out from the protests which had taken place downtown. This included “street” medics and legal observer and some young anarchists. People came from where 19-year-old Roshad MacIntosh was murdered by police last August—including his mother. An important contingent came from Saving Our Sons Ministry—a group founded by formerly incarcerated who are part of the movement to stop police brutality.

There was a brief rally and then everyone took to the street. People chanted “Hands Up—Don’t Shoot, Fist Up—Fight Back” and included the chant “Who’s going to protect the people from the Police? WE WILL, WE WILL.” Whistles were passed out to the protesters and people blew their whistles after this. People also chanted “I Can’t Breathe," "Save our sons and we’ll save your sons! Save our daughters and we’ll save your daughters.”

The march electrified the community. The response from cars snarled in the traffic was honks, grins, fists and hands in the air. Die-ins took place at several intersections and then wound through the community. Then people rushed down an off-ramp and out onto Interstate 290, jubilant as they brought traffic to a dead halt.

The protest ended back at Madison and Pulaski. You could feel the pride and taste of freedom people had after such a powerful protest. Walking away, one woman literally let out a roar.


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