Thousands of people gathered together today to protest gun violence in Chicago today, shutting down the Dan Ryan Expressway. Police officers joined some of the protesters, marching arm-in-arm in an event that was led by Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Roman Catholic priest. Although the exact number of people who participated in the march hasn’t yet been released, the number is easily in the thousands. Read on to see crowd photos and learn more details.
All northbound lanes on Dan Ryan Expressway were shut down for the protest, the Chicago Tribune reported. At least 3,000 protesters were expected today, but the final count might be higher than that. At first marchers were only in the right lanes and traffic could still pass on the left. But around 75th Street, Pfleger and others urged the Illinois State Police to let them access the entire highway. Around 11:30 a.m., the police granted that request.
Eddie Johnson, superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, marched arm-in-arm with Pfleger at one point.
However, not everyone was pleased. Gov. Bruce Rauner tweeted that the entire north side of the freeway wasn’t supposed to be shut down and that wasn’t what they negotiated. However, Pfleger took to Twitter to share that they had never agreed to only walk on the shoulder of the road.
Pfleger had said earlier this week that civil disobedience makes governments stop and listen.
Pfleger told NBC Chicago that he expected 3,000 protesters to participate today. Protesters took buses from Evanston, Naperville, and other suburbs into the city so they could participate.
Here are more photos:
The march was peaceful today and there was no violence.
This march was not part of a series of Refuse Fascism marches that are taking place later today to protest President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. That march is beginning at 2 p.m. in Chicago at Michigan and Congress.
This is a developing story.