Monday, September 26, 2022

Chicago’s ‘Magnificent Mile’ Bracing for #BlackChristmas Protests

Demonstators link arms in solidarity as they protest last year's shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white policeman and the city's handling of the case in Chicago
Demonstrators protest last year’s shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white policeman and the city’s handling of the case in the downtown shopping district of Chicago, Illinois, November 27, 2015.

*The “Magnificent Mile,” Chicago’s famous stretch of upscale shopping malls and high-end restaurants – not to mention the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, and the Trump Hotel – is about to be home to the next round of protests against police shootings, this one set for New Year’s Eve under the hashtag #BlackChristmas.

The upcoming protests are a part of the larger Black Lives Matter movement in Chicago that revved up after a video was released showing the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by white police officer Jason Van Dyke.

A video of the shooting was published internationally and was followed by a series of peaceful protests in Chicago after Thanksgiving. The outcry led to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel firing Garry F. McCarthy, the superintendent of the Chicago police department.

In one of the largest protests Chicago has seen in years, protestors flooded the downtown area, clogging Michigan Avenue and chanting “Fire Rahm!” They also called for Cook County’s State Attorney, Anita Alvarez, to resign.

The Magnificent Mile protests are planned on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and business owners are already predicting to lose between 25 and 50 percent of business, according to ABC.

“We’re going to pray for our city, pray for our leaders here. But we’re also going to march down the street,” Pastor Gregory Livingston, founder of a Coalition for a New Chicago, told ABC 7 News. “We’re going to be singing, chanting and everything else. But we are going to be a peaceful, disruptive force down on Michigan Avenue from about noon to 5 o’clock that evening.”




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