NEAR WEST SIDE — After staking out the location of the Mayor's "invited guests only" appearance Thursday, one protester was able to bring his message to Rahm in the flesh.
Captured on video, Washington Park resident Jared Steverson confronted Mayor Rahm Emanuel after his closed appearance at the new Malcolm X College Thursday. Before the Mayor, flanked by security, is quickly swooped up by a black SUV, Steverson says: "Get out of our city."
"This is our city. What else you covering up, Mayor?" Steverson yells at the SUV carting Emanuel.
They figured out we were at the door he went in, they had cell jammers in the building, but Jared got him at a door he was trying to run out of.Posted by Ja'Mal D Green on Thursday, January 7, 2016
In the back of the building, another eight protesters, including 16-year-old Lamon Reccord, were waiting in case Emanuel exited out the back. Reccord pulled up in a car minutes after the Mayor left.
Thursday's encounter comes 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.
Steverson, with a small group of protesters, staked out the college's main entrance at 8:45 a.m., nearly two hours before Emanuel arrived on scene, but they missed catching the Mayor before he entered the building. He must have entered through another entrance, Steverson surmised.
Security was tight at the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of the new $251 million Malcolm X College on the Near West Side Thursday. Invited guests and media were met by security at the door, making sure guests were on a list and properly credentialed.
Only invited guests and media were permitted to enter the center of the new Malcolm X College building for a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday. Guests were met by a security team at the city college's entrance. [DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]
Invite or no invite, protesters promise to be "everywhere" the Mayor is, said Steverson, a 27-year-old working in the food service industry. Activist Ja'Mal Green, who posted the video of Steverson Thursday, has said the protests will continue daily until Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez resign.
"We're going to be everywhere he's going to be," Steverson said. "It's sad that he thinks he can just stay out of the public eye. But we're everywhere.
Everywhere, including in the city's wealthiest neighborhoods, he said. It's all part of their plan to keep pressure on the Mayor.
"Eventually, the people that matter to the Mayor and going to say, 'You need to get out of office.'"
Since the Laquan McDonald video has been released, protests and demonstrations have been ongoing in Chicago. On Black Friday, hundreds marched down Michigan Avenue physically blocking shoppers from entering or leaving Magnificent Mile stores. On Dec. 9, hundreds of protesters gathered in Daley Plaza to demand Emanuel's resignation. On Dec. 29, protesters chanted outside of Emanuel's Ravenswood home.
Addressing reporters Thursday, Emanuel said protesters have not demonstrated near his home for five days.
Washington Park resident Jared Steverson talks to media after his brief encounter with Mayor Rahm Emanuel outside of Malcolm X College Thursday. [DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]
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