Activists March in Chicago to Remember Victims of Gun Violence in 2015 - NBC Chicago

Activists March in Chicago to Remember Victims of Gun Violence in 2015

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    Protesters marched down Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago on New Year’s Eve to remember those killed and shot in the city in 2015. Alex Maragos reports. (Published Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015)

    Protesters marched down Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago on New Year’s Eve to remember those killed and shot in the city in 2015.

    The group, which included Rev. Jesse Jackson and Father Michael Pfleger, called on the city to “break the cycle” of violence for 2016.

    “We’re here because while we’re remembering all the great events of the year, NFL drafts and Lollapalooza, and light shows and football games and air shows, we also want to remember there’s blood in the streets of Chicago,” Pfeger said before the peace march began. “It’s not just about drafts and parades, it’s about people being shot and killed in Chicago and we are not going to let Chicago ignore the violence. “

    The group chanted “save our babies” and “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

    Protesters Hit Rahm Emanuel Pinata at City Hall

    [NATL-CHI] Protesters Hit Rahm Emanuel Pinata at City Hall
    Protesters gathered at City Hall to call for Mayor Rahm Emanuel's resignation. While there, several demonstrators, including children, are seen hitting a pinata with Emanuel's face on it.
    (Published Friday, Jan. 1, 2016)

    Many of the people taking part carried photos of loved ones lost in the city’s violence.

    Signs that read “Rahm gotta go in 2016” and “#Justicematters” were seen in the crowd.

    The march is the latest in a string of protests following the release of dashcam video showing the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald and comes just days after police accidentally killed a 55-year-old mother of five in a shooting over the weekend.

    But demonstrators said the peace march was for more than just victims of police shootings, and was about gun violence across the city.

    After the march, dozens of protesters gathered at City Hall to call for Emanuel's resignation. The group held a sit in, chanting "Who's got to go? Rahm's got to go." 

    At one point, demonstrators, including children, were seen hitting a pinata with a photo of Emanuel's face on it. 

    Emanuel has been criticized in recent weeks for the handling of the Laquan McDonald case as well as for the recent police-involved shooting where officers accidentally shot and killed 55-year-old Bettie Jones. Emanuel was on a family vacation in Cuba at the time of the shooting, but returned early to deal with the ongoing police crisis. 

    Earlier this week he announced a series of sweeping changes to police training and tactics in response to the officer-involved shooting. 

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