Variety Of Protest Groups Combines For May Day Demonstration

(CBS/AP) — Several hundred people took part in May Day activities on Chicago’s West Side that are focused not only on labor issues, but also on police-community relations and immigration reform, among other issues.

Groups ranging from the Gay Liberation Network to the Animal Liberation Front were represented at the 2 ½-hour rally and march, which began in Union Park and made stops at the Mexican consulate and in Pilsen before reaching its destination, in the park outside the Cook County Criminal Courts complex, at 2600 S. California Ave.

Grant Newberger of Chicago was one of the people marching along Ashland Avenue on Friday. He was carrying a sign that read “stop murder by police.” It had photos of about 20 people who had allegedly been killed by police, including Michael Brown in Missouri and Rekia Boyd of Chicago.

Another marcher, 73-year-old Richard Malmin of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, says he marches every year to show his support for worker and immigrant rights.

Several signs hoisted by protesters took note of the decision by prosecutors in Baltimore, Md., to charge six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, who was severely injured while in their custody last month.

Some said the system should be allowed a chance to work, while others cast doubt that convictions could be won.

Many of the chants and signs were directed toward Chicago police officers, who were on foot, on bicycles and in squad cars and easily outnumbered the protesters.  A group of people held a banner that read “More Dead Cops.” They were wearing black bandanas over their faces and the sign bore an anarchist symbol, but they refused comment when approached by WBBM and other reporters.

Police said the rally remained peaceful and that there were no arrests.

 

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