Activists are calling on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) to resign ahead of a massive protest scheduled for this week.
Protesters plan to walk along Lake Shore Drive during Thursday’s rush hour, on the first day of the Lollapalooza music festival, and end up at Wrigley Field during a Chicago Cubs game.
The Rev. Gregory Livingston and other organizers for the march against violence reportedly went to City Hall on Monday to tell Emanuel not to vocalize his support because they’re asking for him to resign.
“The call of the people is ‘Resign Rahm,’ ” Livingston told The Chicago Tribune. “So how, then, can you back your own regime change? How do you sanction your own termination? How dumb, naive and self-hating do you think we are?”
The Tribune reported that the group is calling for Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to step down in the face of the city's failure to stem its gang- and police-related bloodshed.
The Rev. Ira Acree, another organizer, told the Tribune that people are prepared to be arrested.
“We have people who are committed, who are ready to get arrested,” Acree said. “And those who don’t, they’ll stay back. But certainly, people are going to get arrested. And we will have attorneys and people who will provide resources to bail them out.”
The protest will likely stall traffic throughout the city as crowds move along one of Chicago’s busiest roads and into the Wrigleyville neighborhood.
“The protest route has been well publicized. We have no need to talk with Superintendent Johnson,” Livingston said. “Did Dr. King talk strategy with Bull Connor? With Gov. George Wallace?"
Livingston added that marchers may try to force their way inside of the baseball field while the Cubs play the San Diego Padres.
“That’ll be your surprise,” he said.
“Honestly, when the mayor endorses a protest, it’s no longer a protest,” Acree said. “It becomes a parade, and we’re on serious business."