Protesters are planning to march onto the Dan Ryan Expressway on Saturday and rally against police brutality, according to an organizer.
The protest is scheduled to begin about noon at Robert Taylor Park, 39 W. 47th St., on the South Side. Organizers are hoping to attract at least 25,000 to march in the northbound lanes of the expressway, according to Rabbi Michael Ben Yosef, president of Tikkun Chai Inter-National, a humanitarian group.
Yosef hopes travelers inconvenienced by the demonstration will think about people who have been killed by police. He hopes to organize a similar march on the Eisenhower Expressway in the future.
“Try putting on the shoes of those mothers,” he said of families affected by police brutality.
The event will begin at the park with speakers and a rally, before marchers will enter the Dan Ryan at 47th Street, Yosef said.
For security reasons, he said he could not say where the protesters plan to exit the expressway, but he said the organizers are working with the Illinois State Police to make sure protesters are safe.
Yosef could not say whether the protest will shut down all northbound lanes of the expressway, or if the state police would keep some lanes open.
A spokesperson for the state police said in a statement that the agency is aware of the march and has been in contact with organizers to set up a “safe route of travel.”
“The Illinois State Police will protect the rights of those seeking to peacefully protest while ensuring the safety of the public,” the statement read.
A spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department referred comment to the state police.
Yosef said he modeled the demonstration on a similar one in 2018 organized by the Rev. Michael Pfleger to spotlight on crime, joblessness and poverty plaguing city neighborhoods.
In that march, demonstrators started by using half of the northbound lanes, while traffic proceeded in the remaining lanes. Eventually, though, the marchers took over all northbound lanes.
“We came out here to do one thing: to shut it down,” Pfleger, of St. Sabina Catholic Church, said at the time. “We came here to get their attention. Hopefully we got their attention. … Today was the attention-getter, but now comes the action.”
Yosef said Saturday’s march will be peaceful and safe.
“We chose the Dan Ryan to make our point,” he said.
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