Protest Continues in Chicago on Michigan’s Mag Mile

Protestor holds sign stating one of their demands
                            Protestor holds sign stating one of their demands

Protest Continues in Chicago on Michigan’s Mag Mile

Disapproving of how the city has handled the shooting death of LaQuan McDonald moved demonstrators to hit the streets of Chicago again Saturday to protest the failure to charge Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke with murder sooner. The  activists say that’s not enough.
“There are too many factors that don’t add up. Why haven’t the other officers who were on the scene when the crime happened not under arrest for corroborating VanDyke’s lie? they stood and watched and did  nothing. They should be charged as accomplices. And charged with obstructing justice, destroying evidence.  (Anita) Alvaraez, (Garry) McCarthy and Rahm (Emanuel); all three have to be held accountable,” said Odell Riley of Chicago, “These things have to happen, we can”t accept anything less.”
Uber Driver, Conquita (chose not to give last name), a Black woman expressed that several passengers had entered her vehicle and stated, that they did not understand why the demonstrators were protesting. Imagine that,” she said, “they didn’t get it.”
For the fifth day, activists used Michigan Avenue as the stage of  their protest.  Sixteen “16 shots!” was chanted as  they walked northbound past holiday shoppers with signs and flags in hand.
The protests were peaceful until around 7 p.m. then things took a turn resulting in an arrest.
Another incident occurred  when protesters tried to get into the Tommy Bahama store, but were stopped by police. They continued  peacefully until a fight broke out between police and protesters. One man was taken into custody.
Shortly after the arrest a bazaar interaction  between  the leader of the protest and the police occurred.   He began shaking hands with the officers who were lined up along the sidewalk to keep  contain the demonstration to the sidewalk. He then challenged police to a staring contest, which could have been confrontational but turned out to be friendly and eased tension that could have escalated  and instead brought laughter.
There four people arrested during Saturday’s protest, all for misdemeanors.
Rev. Jesse Jackson announces plans or protest to escalate
Rev. Jesse Jackson announces plans or protest to escalate

Mag Mile businesses feel protest impact
Friday’s  protest over McDonald’s death did impact Michigan Avenue businesses in fact, several stores were forced to close hours early on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
It was back to business  along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Saturday as retailers saw some Black Friday shoppers return a day after a protest march shut down North Michigan Avenue most of the day.
On Friday, demonstrators blocked the entrances to dozens of high-end stores to keep customers out, sometimes using force. A few stores simply locked their doors to avoid any incidents.
 North Michigan Avenue merchants haven’t reported  how the protests hurt their bottom line. However  on the day touted as the biggest shopping day in America traditional retailers can generate up to 40 percent of their revenue for the year on Black Friday. This year the combination of  bad weather, the popularity of online holiday shopping and the protestors  kept shoppers away.
Organizers said Friday’s protest was aimed at disrupting Chicago’s busiest shopping day to draw more attention to the issue of police brutality. Reaction remained mixed among shoppers.
Many whites were not supportive of the effort  thinking that the demonstrators  could have handled it a different way. 
Reverend Jesse Jackson announced that the protests will escalate. So Chicago be ready.
Black Friday might not have been a complete wash for all retailers. A spokesperson for the Fashion Outlets of Chicago said their foot traffic is up 10 percent over last year, and that it was even busier on Saturday.
Still, the demonstrators made an impact.


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