CHICAGO — Organizers from Black Lives Matter: Chicago, Assata's Daughters and Fearless Leading by the Youth shut down part of Lake Shore Drive and disrupted NFL Draft Town Saturday to demand the firing of Chicago Police detective Dante Servin and urge permanent funding to Chicago State University.
Servin was found not guilty on manslaughter charges in the 2012 shooting death of Rekia Boyd.
"Our continued resistance serves as the penalty for destroying Black Lives. There will be no uninterrupted NFL Draft Town when Black women die without justice," organizers said in a statement Saturday. The group also called out Mayor Emanuel and the city council for "cutting a $302,000 deal for an event worth $3.2 million at the same time that we cannot afford to fund Black education."
Chicago Police removed chains that linked individuals blocking the street and detained protestors.
The police arrested 17 women who were blocking traffic in the middle of Lake Shore Drive.
Assata's Daughters co-founder Page May, who made headlines earlier this month for her speech at a Chicago Teachers Union rally, was one of the protesters arrested.
Activist Monica Trinidad said Saturday's protest took place to put a spotlight on the city’s problems.
“We know that the Chicago Police Department spends $4 million a day, and we think that is outrageous. We are hear to say ‘Remember Rekia [Boyd],’ and Dante Servin needs to be fired without a pension," Trinidad said.
“Tweak,” an activist with The Collective echoed Trinidad’s sentiments.
“All of the money invested in the Chicago Police Department on a daily basis can be used to save Chicago State University,” Tweak said. “This is why 17 fierce, courageous, queer women came out in the rain to show how important this is. Chicago’s priorities are f--cked up. They only care about the [NFL] draft. We don’t care about that."
A woman taking in the sights who did not want to be named, told DNAinfo that protesters and police ought hear each other's concerns.
“The media is making too much of this. Protesters have their concerns and so do the police,” the woman said. “Both groups should come together to hear each other out.”
Organizers rallied outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel's City Hall office last week with similar demands and received support from activists in New York City.
By 1 p.m. traffic had been restored on Lake Shore Drive.
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