Johnson defends limiting downtown access during Mexican Independence Day celebrations

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Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson says that his administration made decisions to protect the safety of city residents during Mexican Independence Day celebrations, while calling those parades “a beautiful display of culture.”

Johnson, speaking to reporters Monday, defended the city’s decision to close off access to the Central Business District on Friday and Saturday nights due to large caravans that gathered in celebration of the holiday.

“What an amazing celebration,” he said. “The sights, the photos, the parades. What a beautiful display of culture. My ultimate responsibility is to make sure that we are creating safe spaces for the people of Chicago.”

Both Friday and Saturday nights, the Office of Emergency Management and Communication closed access to downtown from Division to 18th Street, and from DuSable Lake Shore Drive to Halsted Street due to the caravans.

Access was limited to critical response workers and to residents during those times, with access available only at specific intersections.

“The balance is we celebrate culture and making sure that our first responders have access to hospitals and clinics,” he said. “Again, the beauty of the city of Chicago is really our diversity and it was an incredible display of Mexican independence.”

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