Chicago Officials Agree to Help Social Justice Protesters Shut Down Interstate
Chicago, IL – Multiple social justice groups calling for 25,000 protesters to shut down a major interstate in Chicago this week are moving full speed ahead after reportedly reaching a deal with city officials.
Last month, Transportation Nation Network (TNN) first reported numerous social justice organizations are sponsoring a protest being called “Black Lives Matter March: SHUT DOWN OUR DAN RYAN.”
The interstate shutdown is planned for this upcoming Saturday, August 15 beginning at 12 p.m. CDT.
According to one of the groups, Tikkun-Chai International, organizers met with Chicago city officials last week and reached a “compromise” that will allow protesters to shut down the interstate.
As part of the terms of that agreement, protesters will be provided safe passage along their planned route from Rogar Park, and ultimately, allowed entry onto the Dan Ryan Expressway.
The Dan Ryan Expressway runs from the Circle Interchange with Interstate 290 near Downtown Chicago through the South Side of the city.
The group said shutting down the interstate will be the “highlight of the event.”
However, some restrictions were agreed to such as: protesters will not be allowed to follow behind the march in a motor vehicle, no wagons or water coolers will be allowed, bikers will not be permitted, and participants must adhere to the designated route approved by city officials.
Further, the group indicated police “promised” to close the stretch of interstate and block entry “after [the] entire march is fully on the expressway.”
Last week, in an exclusive statement to TNN, an Illinois State Police (ISP) spokesperson said the Department intended to take “appropriate measures” and would “protect the rights of those seeking to peacefully protest, as well as ensuring the safety of the motoring public and public in general.”
One trucking group has taken legal action to stop not only the planned shutdown in Chicago, but also future demonstrations along major roadways.
The Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) is suing the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) in U.S. District Court for failing to enforce federal law and prevent protests staged on interstates.
In another twist last week, the SBTC filed an emergency motion in the case called a Writ of Mandamus requesting the Court order USDOT Secretary Elaine Chao to take action in order to prevent the Dan Ryan Expressway shutdown.
According to court documents, the USDOT must respond to the motion by Tuesday, August 11.
It is not clear how long Saturday’s protest will last, but truckers are advised to avoid the Dan Ryan during mid-day if at all possible.
TransportationNation.com will continue to follow the story.
GET THE LATEST ON THIS DEVELOPING STORY