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Thousands Take Over Chicago Freeway

Protesters march against gun violence
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 7, 2018 2:15 PM CDT
Thousands of anti-violence protesters pour into the inbound lanes of Interstate 94 known as the Dan Ryan Expressway Saturday, July 7, 2018 in Chicago.   (Ashlee Rezin /Chicago Sun-Times via AP) /Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
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(Newser) – Thousands of anti-violence protesters marched along a Chicago interstate on Saturday, shutting down traffic in an effort to draw attention to the gun violence that's claimed hundreds of lives in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods and pressure public officials to do more to stop it, the AP reports. Marchers chanted "Stop the killing" and carried signs reading "We need jobs" and other messages. Some stopped to scrawl on the road with chalk: "Enough is enough" and "Peace." Toward the front of the march the Rev. Michael Pfleger—who organized the protest—Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson linked arms. The march took place along the northbound lanes of Interstate 94, known as the Dan Ryan Expressway, after a roughly hourlong standoff between police and the protesters.

Illinois State Police, which had warned earlier in the week that any pedestrian entering the expressway would face arrest, said early Saturday that an agreement had been reached for protesters to march on a portion of the roadway. Officers and vehicles lined up, forming a barrier to keep protesters in two northbound lanes, but the crowd began creeping into other lanes and walked northbound along a roughly 1.5-mile route. "Today we got their attention," Pfleger said afterward. He said the next step is accomplishing the actual goal—an "aggressive plan" to address the violence. Among the demands the protesters listed were more resources, jobs, and better schools for their communities as well as stronger gun laws.

(Read more protesters stories.)

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