Activists Plan to March on Lake Shore Drive in Anti-Violence Protest

Activists planned to march on Lake Shore Drive in protest of the city’s violence Thursday, possibly shutting down traffic ahead of a Cubs game and on the first day of the popular Lollapalooza music festival.

The protest is set to disrupt traffic on the North Side - as fans make their way to Wrigley Field - in hopes of bringing attention to the violence taking place in other parts of Chicago.

According to Chicago police, protesters are expected to begin their march at 4 p.m. at Belmont Avenue and Inner Lake Shore Drive, and then potentially block the roadway in both directions beginning at 4:30 p.m. 

After approximately 15 minutes, the group is expected to begin its march toward Wrigley Field, marching westbound on Belmont Avenue to Clark Street, and then north to Addison. 

The goal of this latest peaceful march is to draw attention in various other parts of the city to the violence and lack of economic investment in predominately African-American communities.

Many of the businesses along the route on Clark and Belmont said they support the protest.

"I hear that it's going to be peaceful," Jason Hinton, of JC Licht Benjamin Moore paint said. "I am not concerned at all."

"We're still going to be open so if anyone wants to brave through the crowd, they are welcome to come in," added Rachel Nelson, of Chicago Comics.

In response to the planned protest, pedestrian barricades were placed around Clark and Addison, similar to what is put into place for playoff baseball games or other large-scale public events.

Parking restrictions will also go into effect in many spots at 2 p.m.

“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.

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