Protesters: ‘We’re always going to stand tall’


Santiago Covarrubias

Protesters burned an American flag during a demonstration calling for the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Gov. Bruce Rauner Feb. 23. 

By metro editor

A small group of protesters took to the South Loop Feb. 23 for a peaceful protest that later turned into a flag-burning disturbance that ended in the arrests of some rowdy protesters. 

The fourth installment of the Citywide Walkout began at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., where the group of demonstrators called for the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Gov. Bruce Rauner. The previous demonstrations were held in December.

Lamon Reccord, the protest’s main organizer, said he was tired of the politicians’ leadership and wanted to show the protests calling for their resignations have not ended. 

“We’re always going to stand tall and fight [for] justice for all,” Reccord said.

The protesters made their way to City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., where they lay on the floor chanting “16 shots and a cover up,” alluding to the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer.

Dustin Kwee, a Lakeview resident saw the protest, said he supports the group’s message and believes there are citywide problems that need to be addressed.

“I don’t think we should be asking too many questions [about] when we should [protest]; just [protesting] is better than nothing,” Kwee said. “I don’t know if this is the right space to do it, but it’s better to do this than asking questions ‘how’ and ‘when’.”

Chloe Roberts, a Bronzeville resident, said if the McDonald video had not surfaced, Chicago residents would still be in the dark about what is happening in their city.

Roberts said people of all races need to come together to understand the issues.

Protesters proceeded to the Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St. After the protesters made their way inside, many bystanders were asked to leave the building. A lawyer waiting to enter the building, said she was going to lose her court case if she could not get inside to file her paperwork and began taking photos of the protest as evidence for the judge.

The protesters, after leaving the Thompson center, blocked traffic and one protester blocked a car and jumped up on its hood.

Some  during the protest shouted vulgarities at police officers. Later a few protesters burned an American flag.

Despite multiple attempts, Reccord could not be reached for further comment.

On Feb. 16, Emanuel released a statement announcing a new policy that would make video evidence of police shootings public within 60 days.

“While this new policy is an important step forward, our work is far from finished, as we continue to address issues that have plagued the city for decades. We will continue taking additional steps to make our communities safer while also ensuring that we are as transparent as possible and that those police officers who do violate the public’s trust are held accountable,” Emanuel said in his statement.

Carolyn Ruff, a Lakefront resident who attended the protest, said she thinks Emanuel is “trying to get close to the black community,” so he will deliver on his promise for reforms within the police department and how it deals with evidence.

Ruff said she hopes Alvarez does not get back into office and that Emanuel resigns before 2016 is over. 

“Not only Chicago is telling Rahm Emanuel to leave, but the entire world is telling Rahm Emanuel to leave,”Ruff said.