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A few dozen protesters marched from the Northwestern University campus to downtown Evanston during the 8 o’clock hour this morning, briefly blocking some intersections.

Evanston police say they’ve been advised that another march is planned for around 5 p.m. this evening, which may lead to additional traffic disruptions, especially at the intersection of Sheridan Road and Chicago Avenue.

The protests here are among a large number nationwide in response to the recent refusals of grand juries to recommend criminal charges against police officers whose actions led to the deaths of unarmed civilians in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City.

A larger group of about 150 people gathered for a peaceful rally at Fountain Square in Evanston on Sunday to protest the grand jury decisions and broader patterns of strained police-community relations across the country.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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13 Comments

  1. Protests

    Protests are part of life and the first admendment but if they block sidewalks or intersections illegally, it is the duty of Evanston Police to arrest and/or ticket them. A hearty warning should be given before doing so.

  2. Clergy Response

    I think that the most important thing about this protest is that, it was not a Northwestern University response, but a Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary response. The people in this picture are clergy and future clergy, standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. I think my colleagues said it best at the prayer service following this event, we recognize that all races matter; however, it's not all races that are being shot, or stopped or oppressed merely because of the color of their skin. This response is a way for these students and ordained clergy to stand in front of and with our brothers and sisters of color, using our privelege to protect them instead of oppress them.
    Faith and Peace, 
    Anitta M., M.Div. '16

    1. Layperson response

      Do you know how many working brothers and sisters you oppressed by making them late for work?  You could not wait until after rush hour to use your priviledge to protect our brothers and sisters of color?  The right way to do a protest is to schedule it at a much more plausible hour and then notify the media of the time and route.  That way you will get a much larger audience that you so desire.  Making people late for work does not help your cause and causing people who just want to get home after a hard day at work hurts your cause.  Faith and Peace to you, too! 

    2. Add prayers for fallen officers

      Could the clergy also add prayers to the police that have fallen on duty. Following is a news release issued by the FBI National Press Office on May 12:

      Preliminary statistics released today by the FBI show that 27 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2013, a decrease of more than 44 percent when compared to the 49 officers killed in 2012. By region, 15 officers died as a result of criminal acts that occurred in the South, six officers in the West, four officers in the Midwest, and two in the Northeast.

      By circumstance, seven officers were killed as a result of ambushes (four during unprovoked attacks and three due to entrapment/premeditated situations). Five officers died from injuries inflicted as a result of answering disturbance calls (three of which were domestic disturbances), and five officers were engaged in tactical situations. Three officers sustained fatal injuries while they were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, three were conducting traffic pursuits or stops, and three officers were responding to robberies in progress or pursuing robbery suspects. One officer was killed as a result of an investigative activity.

      1. we did pray for them too
        at the fountain square gathering, there were prayers and remembrance for all victims of violence. Including police officers. no one should die a violent death in the street.

    3. The 1960s just called and said stop these silly protests

      Young black males may be three times more likely to be shot dead by police than are young white males. But because more than two-thirds of police officers are white and blacks commit about half of violent crimes, it stands to reason most police shootings would involve a white cop and a black suspect.

      Black cops have shot black suspects at essentially the same rate as white cops have, according to University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist David Klinger. In 1999, two Chicago black cops shot and killed two black motorists in separate incidents on the same weekend. The No. 1 cause of black deaths between the ages 18-34 is murder by other black males!

      Consider also that an Hispanic cop in August shot and killed an unarmed white male, Dillon Taylor, as he walked out of a Seven-11. This happened as protesters were looting and burning Ferguson. The cop that killed Taylor was not indicted by the Grand Jury. Neither was a black cop who shot and killed in 2012 an unarmed white male, Gilbert Collar, who was naked. I don't recall seeing large scale protests or comments from the president and U.S. Attorney General about these police shooting deaths.

      This idea that blacks are being targeted by police simply because of their skin color is completely false, irresponsible, destructive and insulting.

      These protesters are acting on childish emotion rather than common sense and a healthy respect for facts!

      1. Thank goodness Anonymous Al is here to explain racism

        And in a way that isn't condescending at all! Don't black people see that they're just being childish and emotional?

        See, something sort of similar once happened to a white person, an anecdote that can be referenced without any context. That, plus some basic surface-deep statistics, lets us ignore our country's history of redlininghousing discriminationracially-biased drug policies, and disproportionate police harassment of African Americans. Sure, there's a long history of discriminating against minorities and depicting them as sub-human "others," but that doesn't mean there was anything racist about a cop who shot a black guy saying he looked like a "demon."

        Honestly, why would anyone think there's any racism here at all? Thank goodness Al is willing to take some time out of his busy day to explain to black people that what they are experiencing in their daily lives isn't actually racism. It's all in their heads. Anonymous Al said so.

        I'm also so happy that Al brought up black-on-black crime. It's too bad that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton neverever talk about that. Why do black people always blame white people for their problems? Especially super-helpful people on the internet who are happy to explain to them that they're assessment of their own lives is completely wrong?

        1. Thank goodness

          And thank goodness bpd recognized that most of the "childish and emotional" protesters were white!!!

          It's a relief that bpd understood Officer Darren Wilson's description that MIke Brown acted like a demon when he charged. I mean what was he suppose to say, Brown acted like an angel in flight? One of the black witnesses said Brown charged Wilson like a football player. How condescending is that? 

          I am so glad bpd addressed all the statistical facts I cited and didn't make a knee jerk reaction that simply because Brown and Garner were black and the cops were white the shootings were raciallay motivated. Because we all know that standard could apply when a black cop shoots a white victim, say, like Gilbert Collar, a naked and unarmed white male shot dead in the street in 2012 by a black cop who was not indicted by a Grand Jury. 

          BTW– millions of "brown" people every year risk their lives and sneak into America for a better life with nothing on their backs and unable to speak English. America's gotta be doin something right. Right bpd?

  3. Why the overreaction?
    Why shouldn’t they protest – it is within all of our rights!

    Moreover, it is funny how much is being made about the protesters “blocking” everything. I was not aware these protests were occurring and I was driving north on Orrington right next to the protest, which was entirely contained within Fountain Square. I experienced not so much as a pause in traffic as I drove right by. Maybe as the protesters were crossing the streets, it held up traffic for 1 or 2 minutes. I doubt anyone was severely inconvenienced…..

    1. Sheridan was blocked

      The protests that the complaints refer to happened this morning at Sheridan/Chicago during the height of rush hour and caused significant delays. Drivers had to reroute and all streets in the immediate vicinity were snarled.  Perhaps you're referring to yesterday's protest at Fountain Sqaure?  It took me about an hour to get out of Evanston this morning, whereas it normally takes 10-15 minutes on a bad day. 
      However, I agree that the protests should be allowed and my personal opinion is that I would rather encounter an occasional inconvenience like this than live in a society that quashes such displays. 
      That said, I hope they use the sidewalks if they resume at 5pm like the article indicates. 🙂
       

      1. I was the first car stopped

        First car at the intersection by police officers. I don't mind protesters…it's our right to do it.  At first I didn't mind… But after 1/2 an hour of watching the same people walk by… Looping in a circle… Looking at the same sign over and over, I began to wonder why police didn't hold the line and let some cars pass. It became frustrating and several cars started laying on their horns. Thankfully the Bears had already lost 3 days earlier or I would've been really pissed. I'm also glad that I had snacks in the car. Otherwise I might have died. Well, nothing serious, and I returned $55.00 in vitamins back to GNC… Then bought similar ones from Whole Foods for $35.00. Oh, and I picked up a roaster chicken.

         

      2. A reason to bike or walk

        This is a good reason to bike and walk.  You can manuever around such obstacles easily. 

        1. True dat

          biking is wonderful exercise. I rode my stationary bike for six hours straight once. I ended up in Milwaukee.

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