- More than 1,000 people gathered in Chicago’s Rogers Park on Wednesday for a “Honk for Justice” rally supporting Black Lives Matter.
- Participants held up signs reading “Silence is violence” as motorists beeped their horns in approval.
- The rally was one of three scheduled for Wednesday by organisers Jocelyn Prince and Madison Kamp.
- “It’s really emotional to see people who don’t look like me be this interested in anything concerning people that look like me,” Aiko Rose, a 24-year-old black man, told Insider.
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After a weekend of violent clashes between police and demonstrators in Chicago, protests in the city have taken a more peaceful tone this week.
On Wednesday afternoon, more than 1,000 people gathered in Rogers Park for a “Honk for Justice” rally, “providing visibility on the street corner for the Black Lives Matter movement,” according to a Facebook invitation from organisers Jocelyn Prince and Madison Kamp.
At around 4 pm, a crowd gathered along North Sheridan Road.
Some waved signs reading “I can’t breathe” and “Silence is violence.” Others banged on pots and pans.
“I like the feeling of all of the support in the Rogers Park neighbourhood,” Gregory Daniels, a 55-year-old African-American elementary school teacher, told Insider. “I feel like this is the beginning of a new movement in our country.”
Eventually, the group moved south, shutting down Sheridan Road and Clark Street as the marched. After circling the neighbourhood for another hour, the crowd dispersed.
Some went home, while others headed to a rally in Bronzeville outside Chicago Police Department headquarters.
We spoke with participants at the Honk for Justice rally to find out why they were there.
Emmanuel Nwamo, 40
“What brought me out here was a gruesome murder. It brought me to tears. I have two black kids growing up in America today. I wonder for the future of my kids. I worry about [their lives] every day.”
Tobi Ewuosho, 22
“As a black man in America, I know we have an everyday struggle. I wanted to practice what I preach, to be out here, in my community, in Chicago. To show that I stand with my brothers and sisters in America, those who are fallen and those who are still alive. Police brutality has been ruining this nation for God knows how many years.”
Jonathan Rivera, 44
“I am happy that this movement has come to my neighbourhood. I want to participate in holding police accountable for the violence that they do unjustly to people. Especially people of colour, especially African-Americans.”
Katie Cheatham, 37
“As white people, it is our responsibility more than anybody’s to come out and fight against racial injustice. We’ve been sitting stagnant and quiet for too long and this is our time to really step up.”
Aiko Rose, 24
“I feel overwhelmed. It’s really emotional to see people who don’t look like me be this interested in anything concerning people that look like me. I guess I’m just shocked because I never knew this could happen. It’s overwhelming, scary, and uncomfortable to think that so many people really care.”
Gregory Daniels, 55
“I like the feeling of all of the support in the Rogers Park neighbourhood, as I have not ventured out lately as a 55-year-old black Chicagoan during COVID-19. I’m very hopeful for the future, especially with the verdicts that came down earlier this afternoon. I feel like this is the beginning of a new movement in our country.”
Jennifer Clark, 48
“This is about damn time. It’s terrifying, especially being a white woman with a black son in America.” (Tears up.) “I’m worried I won’t be able to teach him something he needs to know in order to stay alive.”
Kim Erwin, 55
“I don’t know how anybody can look at this and not understand that we have a police problem in this country. I’ve never had a good encounter with the police in Chicago and I’ve been here since 1968.”
Alfredo Sanchez Duarte
“This is a time as bad as any in our history. Not only are Black people being killed for no apparent reason, but Mexicans are being held in cages in immigration jails.”