Expect a traffic jam on Lake Shore Drive and near Wrigley Field this afternoon. Protesters plan to shut down streets in Lakeview to alert North Siders to violent crime and recent police shootings in Chicago.
The Cubs have said their night game against the Padres will go on as planned, but just in case things get rowdy, they’re adding extra security. Demonstrators have said they come in peace.
Demonstrators plan to start their march on Lake Shore Drive near Briar Place. Organizers said they will shut down the northbound lanes around 4 p.m., and might also try to block the southbound lanes.
After that rush hour standstill, the protesters plan to head north to Belmont Avenue, and then west to Clark Street, before turning north again to Wrigley Field, where protest leaders will hold a press conference.
Among the protesters’ demands: the resignations of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Eddie Johnson.
Organizers said they chose their route strategically, to make North Siders pay attention to gun violence on the South Side.
Johnson said officers are committed to keeping protesters safe.
“What we won’t tolerate is civil disobedience in terms of trying to storm into Wrigley Field, and things of that nature. You know, if we have to make arrests in that regard, then we will, but we will honor people’s right to protest,” he said.
Less than a month ago, another group of activists, led by Rev. Michael Pfleger, blocked traffic on the Dan Ryan Expressway. More than 1,000 people marched on the expressway at 79th Street, stopping traffic for a few hours.
They wanted to send a message to lawmakers about what they say is a lack of resources contributing to gun violence on the South Side. That protest ended peacefully, with no arrests.
The Dan Ryan protest cost taxpayers nearly $200,000 in Illinois State Police expenses.
Chicago police have jurisdiction over today’s protest.
AS REPORTED BY CBS CHICAGO NEWS