‘Black Lives’ march planned on NW Side
by BRIAN NADIG
A "Portage and Jefferson Parks Unite for Black Lives" march is scheduled from 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, June 12, ending at the 16th (Jefferson Park) District police station, 5151 N. Milwaukee Ave., according to organizers.
"For too long, black people in our community, in our city and in our country have suffered violence and brutality at the hands of police and our systems of government. … We unite in solidarity, but also to hold our alderman accountable," march organizers posted on Facebook.
The march is expected to begin with a rally in front of Alderman Jim Gardiner’s 45th Ward office, 5425 W. Lawrence Ave.
"Alderman Jim Gardiner has said nothing regarding the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade or other black people who have been killed by police or white supremacists in recent months.
"He has remained silent on where he stands on CPAC, a proposed ordinance that would empower communities to hold our police system accountable. He has shown that he is unwilling to speak up on behalf of all of his constituents," the posting said.
Gardiner released the following statement:
"I am encouraged to see people unite to discuss racial inequities in the black community and hopefully make plans to contribute to the solution. For some, the past week has only been a reminder of these inequities; for others it is an introduction to this reality.
"While there are various paths to bring about change, I have chosen that of service. The 13 years I have worked in West Garfield Park as a Chicago firefighter, a special education teacher on the South Side and a park district employee who coached and mentored countless children in black and brown communities has given me a deep appreciation for these disparities.
"As alderman, I am hopeful we can one day unite our efforts in supporting communities most impacted by racial inequities. By working together, we can make a positive change for the better."
Organizers are asking participants to wear face coverings and said that a vehicle caravan will follow the marchers after the rally to the police station.
"This will be a peaceful protest. We want to amplify the voices and unite in solidarity of black members of our communities. If you demonstrate any signs of hate speech, inciting violence, harassment of attendees or destruction, you will be asked to leave," the posting said.