Roughly 3,000 demonstrators have shut down a large portion of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, also known as the “Magnificent Mile”, in the middle of Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, to protest the shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald.
The 17-year-old was killed in October 2014, and was apparently armed with a knife at the time. Video of the shooting released on Tuesday, however, shows that he was walking away from police at the time he was shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke.
Breitbart reports the turnout was strong despite 39-degree weather and rainy conditions. Demonstrators shouted “16 shots!” and “No justice, no shopping!”
— Lauren Mialki (@laurenmialki) November 27, 2015
— Thanks, Bastards (@MinkuAzad) November 27, 2015
The march started at Michigan and Wacker Drive and began walking north. They include demonstrators from the Nation of Islam, which is marching under the banner of “Justice of Else”; RevCom, the Revolutionary Communist Party; and the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH coalition.
The latter group is marching slowly, while the other groups have pushed ahead, effectively taking up five city blocks along Michigan Ave., with hundreds of Chicago Police Department officers lining the streets.
Police turned protesters away at the entrance to Water Tower Place, but they continue to try to enter other shopping areas with the intention of blocking commerce from taking place.
There has been no violence so far, and some people are still managing to shop, but several stores have since been blocked and effectively shut down, including Macy’s, H&M, and others over six blocks. Shoppers are either stuck inside the stores or cannot enter. Some shuffle by, as protesters shout at them. Michigan Avenue itself, normally filled with traffic, is empty.
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) November 27, 2015
Welcome to Water Tower Chicago’ largest shopping hub! pic.twitter.com/BHp80oUwBl
— agitator in chief (@soit_goes) November 27, 2015
— Kelly Wenzel (@kelly_wenzel) November 27, 2015
In conversations with demonstrators, Breitbart learned that the groups plan to target the Chicago Board of Trade, one of the world’s most important commodities exchanges, in future demonstrations. The aim is to do as much economic damage as possible while drawing attention to perceived racism and abuse by the Chicago Police Department.