Activists plan to shut down Lake Shore Drive on Chicago’s North Side next week, aiming to bring afternoon and evening rush hour traffic to a standstill as the city braces for a Cubs game and the start of the popular Lollapalooza music festival.
The protest looks to “redistribute the pain and agony of no economic development on the South and West Sides to the North side,” according to organizer Tio Hardiman with Violence Interrupters.
The march is set to take place at 4 p.m. Aug. 2, though it remains unclear how many plan to take part in the scheduled event.
“Enough to block Lake Shore Drive and enough to fill up Clark Street on the way down here,” said activist Gregory Livingston, who joined organizers outside Wrigley Field for a press conference Tuesday. “And enough to disrupt those gates over there at Wrigley Field.”
Protesters and activists have ramped up their efforts in wake of the shooting of Harith Augustus 10 days earlier by a Chicago police officer.
“We are marching until Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent Johnson are ejected from this game we call our home- Chicago, Illinois,” Livingston said.
The group plans to meet near Belmont and Lake Shore Drive and march toward Wrigley Field, where a 7 p.m. game is scheduled. Traffic will already be heightened in the area for the game but also as thousands flock for the start of Lollapalooza in the city’s Grant Park.
“CPD regularly works with event organizers to keep the public safe, and, as always, our goal is to keep the community safe on public thoroughfares,” the city said in a statement. “CPD will be in contact with the event organizers soon to talk through their plans and evaluate potential public safety impacts.”
The Cubs encouraged fans driving to the game to take “alternative routes or transportation to get to Wrigley Field” and to “avoid Lake Shore Drive.”
“We’re looking forward to an exciting game against the Padres and will work with CPD to ensure all fans are able to enter and exit the ballpark safely,” the team said in a statement.
The protest would mark the second march of a major roadway this summer.
Earlier this month, Father Michael Pfleger led a protest that shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway. Pfleger will not join in this march, he said.
“I am in favor of anyone who stands up Non Violently to draw attention to the Neglected South and West sides in this City,” Pfleger wrote on Facebook Tuesday. “The March they are planning has a different focus than what we have been meeting and Marching for.”
He said while this march calls for Emanuel and Johnson’s resignations, his instead sought jobs, better education, economic development and stronger gun legislation.
The march comes as the city begins to focus on the mayoral election in February. Organizers of the march say while they do not support Emanuel, they are not endorsing any challengers just yet.