Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty late this morning issued a statement praising a black lives march and rally planned for this afternoon in the city.

“Today, a group of young leaders, recent graduates of Evanston Township High School, have organized a socially distanced march and rally for black lives,” the mayor said.

“I am proud of these leaders and of the socially aware students that ETHS is producing. These leaders have organized this event based on their right to free speech and are doing so in a way that recognizes the pain that Black communities are suffering.”

“During today’s march and rally,” Hagerty added, “I ask that we follow the leaders’ intent for a peaceful, safe, and socially distanced march. The Evanston Police will be present at the march to support Evanstonians and ensure people’s safety.”

Referring to the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police, Hagerty said, “My heart aches for black people across the country who have witnessed yet another act of police brutality and worry that justice will not be forthcoming.

“In the past few months, we have seen the disproportionate deaths of black people due to the coronavirus,” he added. “The news of racially charged acts of violence against George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many others whose stories will never be forgotten, has clearly fragmented our society.”

The march is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. at Ridge Avenue and Church Street and proceed to parking lot 1 at Evanston Township High School, where a rally is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called in the National Guard this morning and locked-down the Loop to help Chicago police prevent further riots and vandalism after shooting and looting led to 240 arrests during Saturday night protests.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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