ADVISORY: Social Justice Groups Plan NEW PROTEST to Shut Down Major Chicago Interstate
Chicago, IL – Multiple social justice groups which unsuccessfully attempted to shut down a major Chicago interstate last year will soon try it again.
According to a Facebook event by one of the groups organizing the unlawful demonstration, the “SHUTDOWN OUR DAN RYAN W/1,000 PROTESTERS: WE GET NO JUSTICE” protest is planned for Saturday, August 7, 2021.
Many will recall a similar planned shutdown of the Dan Ryan Expressway last year garnered a slew of national and local media headlines.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) was first to report in July of 2020 that groups such as Tikkun-Chai International and the Chicago Activist Coalition for Justice planned to shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway on August 15.
The Dan Ryan Expressway runs from the Circle Interchange with Interstate 290 near Downtown Chicago through the South Side of the city.
Protest organizers initially reached terms of an agreement with Chicago officials to allow protesters to shut down the interstate with the help of law enforcement.
“The ISP would urge the motoring public, including truck drivers, to avoid the Dan Ryan Expressway in both directions within the city of Chicago during the proposed date and time of the planned protest,” Illinois State Police (ISP) Sgt. Delila Garcia told TNN at the time.
News of the agreement quickly sparked outrage.
The head of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) called for arrests and the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) sued the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) asking the Court to order the USDOT to stop the protest.
The agreement also appeared to embolden the groups as they quickly scheduled shutdown demonstrations on the Eisenhower Expressway and Route 66.
Organizers had hoped to attract 25,000 protesters to shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway, but fewer than 200 people actually participated, according to multiple reporters present.
Ultimately, law enforcement prevented the groups from taking to the interstate.
In a statement following the protest, ISP said it reminded protesters it is “illegal for pedestrians to be on an interstate.”
Undeterred, event organizer Rabbi Michael Ben Yosef with the Chicago Activist Coalition for Justice, promised to try again.
“We were this close to taking the Dan Ryan, but I don’t want you to be defeated,” he told the activists.
However, in the wake of the failure, both the Eisenhower Expressway and Route 66 protests were subsequently canceled.
For their latest plans to shut down the Dan Ryan, organizers are aiming to attract 1,000 protesters.
TNN will keep you posted on new developments as the scheduled date draws nearer.