CHICAGO — The Chicago Teachers Union is urging its members to take part in a Black Friday protest on the Magnificent Mile in response to the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.
The protest is expected to start at 11 a.m. Friday, typically the busiest shopping day of the year, at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive and then proceed through the city's busiest retail stretch.
“When we take to the streets on Friday we will show the city that we intend to disrupt its economic center as we call on people of good will to join us in our fight for justice for Laquan and other victims of questionable and unjust police shootings in our city," union President Karen Lewis said in a statement issued early Thursday.
Noted South Side pastor the Rev. Michael Pfleger had already put out a call for his congregation to take part in the protest to disrupt the anticipated crowds and draw attention to the McDonald shooting and other cases of police misconduct. The Rev. Jesse Jackson and other religious leaders are among the organizers of the planned march.
Meet us tomorrow at 11am Michigan Ave. I am going to try and keep up with our young leaders @BYP_100 I will be following and joining them— Corey Brooks (@CoreyBBrooks) November 27, 2015
The teachers union's statement endorsed the march in protest of the "horrific" October 2014 shooting of McDonald, which was caught on video that was released to the public Tuesday. Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke on Tuesday was charged with first-degree murder for McDonald's death.
"It is time to turn our pain into power," union president Karen Lewis said. She encouraged union members to take part in the protest to "express their outrage and dignity."
Lewis joined a call for a special prosecutor to look into McDonald's shooting and the subsequent investigation into it, and she slammed the arrests of some protesters who have taken to the streets in the nights since the release of the video.
“Instead of responding in an open and understanding way to the wave of protest that has unfolded after the release of the video, we have seen the arrest of leading activists. We are alarmed at the criminalization of protest,” Lewis added.
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