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'Welcome Home Rahm!' Protesters Congregate, Chant Outside Mayor's Home

By Joe Ward | December 29, 2015 7:32pm
 Protesters heckle police outside of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home in Ravenswood Tuesday.
Protesters heckle police outside of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home in Ravenswood Tuesday.
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DNAinfo/Joe Ward

RAVENSWOOD — Protesters were on hand outside of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home Tuesday to greet Chicago's first family as they came home from a vacation in Cuba.

But no warm, holiday greetings were delivered by the protesters.

"Welcome home Rahm!" a group of 30-some protesters chanted sarcastically outside of Emanuel's Ravenswood home.

"You can go back to Cuba once you resign," said protester Ja'Mal Green.

The group took to the sidewalk outside the Emanuel residence Tuesday after weeks of protesting over the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, the 17-year-old teen whose death at the hands of police has galvanized protesters and brought national scrutiny to Emanuel and the Chicago Police Department.

Though the protest was still over the death of McDonald, the Rev. Gregory Livingston, a South Side pastor organizing Tuesday's and other demonstrations, said the weekend's shooting death of two black people at the hands of police have further galvanized the group.

"That happened in a neighborhood where there isn't a code of silence, there's a code of fear, fear of the police," Livingston said. "If Rahm opens his door, he doesn't have to fear the police."

The group of protesters was small but passionate. They used familiar chants like "16 shots and a cover up" while also personalizing their slogan for the Emanuel family.

The protest organizers said a change of scenery was needed to show Emanuel that they would not stop. If he hadn't heard their voices before, he has now, said Kina Collins.

"Just because it's cold out, or because Rahm is in Cuba, it's not going to stop us," said Collins, an Austin resident on winter break from Louisiana State University. "We want to remind him, we're still here. We're still mad."

It was not clear if Emanuel was home during the protest.

Protesters also ridiculed the family for not shoveling their sidewalk. A group of protesters gathered in a circle and began to chant and jump when one protester allegedly fell and hurt his leg. An ambulance was on the scene to treat the man, who asked paramedics not to take him to the hospital.

A woman who appeared to be Emanuel's wife, Amy Rule, entered the house through the front door while protesters heckled her.

"Hurry up!" protesters shouted as she fumbled with her keys. "What are you afraid of?"

DNAinfo Chicago could not independently verify if the woman was Rule.

The demonstration garnered mixed emotions from neighbors, some who stood out on their porches and shook their heads but would not speak to the media.

One man, Jason Phillip, was walking his dog and heard the commotion so decided to walk down the 4200 block of North Hermitage Avenue.

"We finally have a reason for 24/7 police protection of the house," said Phillip, who lives a few blocks west of the Emanuels. He said the protest outside the mayor's home was definitely warranted.

"I think it's about time the mayor takes this personally," Phillip said. "If that means he gets visits from constituents, then so be it."

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