A Catholic priest on Saturday led hundreds of people in a gun violence protest on a busy Chicago highway.
The group—gathered under the leadership of the Rev. Michael Pfleger and hailing from Chicago and Parkland, Fla.—marched in the northbound lanes of Interstate 94, known locally as the Dan Ryan Expressway. They said the march was to support “national common sense gun laws,” though signs carried by participants also read, “We need jobs” and “Stop the drug wars.”
Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, exhorted motorists to watch for marchers and warned on Twitter against “more senseless loss of life.” The Illinois State Police, Chicago Police Department, and Illinois Department of Transportation provided personnel to work on the expressway and ensure safety. Officials initially left two lanes open for drivers, using a barricade mostly formed by parked vehicles to protect the protesters. But Pfleger and fellow marcher and activist Jesse Jackson later persuaded authorities to give up the motorists lanes for a total shutdown, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Rauner later condemned the protesters for choosing “to cause chaos” instead of “respecting law and order.” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat, fired back, showing his support for the march because of its anti-violence agenda. —R.H.