#ShutDownChi shows how to defeat the 1%

Originally posted April 4, 2016

Massive protest downtown

Click here or on the picture above to see amazing Channel 9 video of the massive anti-racist, pro-public education, pro-investment in our communities march which shook the Loop during last Friday night’s rush hour.
Over the past few months a movement, primarily led by black youth, has shaken the previously authoritarian Chicago Democratic Machine to its roots.

Whether fighting gentrification, rights for the homeless, police brutality or racist defunding of education for primarily black and working class students, many of the anti-protester laws previously used to quell or corral protests into acceptable channels have effectively become dead letters. The above march and almost all marches over the past several months, for example, were done without the parade permits mandated by the “shit down and shut up” laws rammed through by Rahm Emanuel and his allies just before just before the 2012 NATO summit.

Since Mayor Emanuel covered up the police murder of 17-year-old LaQuan McDonald in order to win re-election, the attitude on the streets has been, if you cover for racist murders by police and the numerous police accessories to this Class 1 felony, why should we respect any of your laws aimed at harassing protesters?

Whether you’re talking about the March 11th Trump rally shut-down in Chicago or the forced granting of a South Side trauma center from the wealthy University of Chicago, over the past few months, people in the streets have made more progress against the dictats of the Chicago Machine than in any number of elections.

Rainbow flags for Education & JusticeLGBTQs were definitely in the house for the April 1 Chicago Shut Down march initiated by the Chicago Teachers Union and supported by a host of community groups.

The reasons for our participation were simple: demanding funding for public education, stopping the cuts which disproportionately hit people of color and working class people, and basic solidarity.

Back in the late 1970s, when Harvey Milk and the movement he was a spokesperson for defeated the anti-LGBT “Briggs Amendment,” they could not have done it without their alliance with the teachers and their unions. Likewise today, the future of most LGBTQ people, since most of us are working class, is bound up with the movements of working people. Today in Chicago, that means supporting the teachers and the Chicago Teachers Union.

We hoped to carry on in the best of the traditions of our movement, where LGBTQs support teachers, and vice versa, where LGBTQs speak out and organize against racism regardless of our skin color, where we articulate the connections between supposedly “separate” issues, and where we show that solidarity across false lines is the way we can win better lives for all of us.

The flyer below neatly summarizes the issues that motivated the protest. Below that, see some of pics from the LGBTQ contingent and much more!

April 1 Shut Down

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