Alt T Delete
Today, somewhere between 200 and 400 people marched from Federal Plaza to the intersection of Wacker and Wabash (Chicago's official anti-Trump demonstration site) to protest the weekend's events in Charlottesville and President's Trump's multiple responses to it. Clearly his 2-hour old comments from the lobby of the Trump Tower in New York City added fuel to the fire.
Many of the speakers appeared to be aligned with the Black Lives Matter, which is not surprising given the topic de jour, white supremacy and the KKK. The crowd was comprised of young people and hard core lefties, although there were middle-aged people in attendance. The media was out in force, getting the Chicago angle on a story that is paralyzing the nation.
In my view, these demonstrations are largely ineffective. It will take hundreds of thousands of people in the streets to bring about the change that the organizers are hoping to achieve. Probably the most interesting exchange of the late afternoon was between several demonstrators and a woman who identified herself as Carol. she had stumbled into the demonstration.
It wouldn't surprise me if she had voted for Trump, but she was thoughtful as she discussed the issues with several demonstrators and at least two TV news crews. She was bothered by the vulgar language and divisive nature of the speeches. She did not appear to be happy with Trump or the white supremacists. She condemned what transpired in Charlottesville. Carol offers an important lesson: The organizers, who are often on the far left fringe, don't seem to understand that they need to capture the great center to bring about change, which means the rhetoric must be more inclusive and directed. The speakers rattled off a long laundry list of grievances: Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not the issue. Despite my qualms, I give the organizers and regular participants credit for taking a stand.
The African American community has legitimate grievances with the police, but true to form, when it comes to demonstrations downtown, the Chicago police are professionals who treat demonstrators with respect. As I was leaving, I encountered what appeared to be one tense exchange between a demonstrator and two police officers. I kept my camera ready because I sensed that there might be arrest. One police officer suggested that the demonstrator might want to go home, but the demonstrator continued pressing his point. The police did an excellent job of de-escalting the situation. There was no handshake before the demonstrator moved on, but I sensed that there could have been one, which speaks volumes.
At this point, I was approached by a CPD commander named Owen. We had a rather lengthy discussion about photography. His father-in-law had been a Sun-Times photographer for 42 years. Commander Owen talked about the boxes of photographs and how me enjoyed them. I pointed out that his reaction to those photographs is why it is important to continue documenting events. A very nice guy.
Oh, yeah, one more point of interest. Someone pointed out that Chicago did not have Civil War statues, but then someone else countered, with a reference to one or two statues. It could get interesting.
Click on a photograph to enlarge it.
"Nazis Out of the White House!"
The "Fascist" Mascot
"Your Silence Will Not Protect You"
Same Sentiment as Senator Orin Hatch
"Black Lives Matter"
A Little Out of Focus. But Still Passionate
Marching North on LaSalle
"Justice for Heather"
And Then He Turned Around
Documenting the Proceedings
"Angry Feminist," But Still Smiling
Telling a Story
Everyone is Recording
Restricting Access to Trump Tower
"Cops & Klan Go Hand in Hand"
Making His Point
Anti-Nazi Signage and Symbols
Listening and Learning
The Discussion (Carol)
The Interview: One Side
The Interview: The Other Side (Carol)
Pressing the Point