CHICAGO (CBS) – Community activists hung Thursday the American flag upside-down near the 79th street CTA red line stop, in response to Chicago’s violence.
The flag is a sign of distress, a desperate call for help sent directly to the President of the United States, CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.
“We are not protesting,” said Phil Jackson, Black Star Project Founder. “We are not disrespecting the flag. We are just asking for help.”
The act is a call for help directed at President Obama. Hanging the flag upside-down is a national signal of dire distress.
“We are asking him to acknowledge that we have a problem,” Jackson said.
Violence, a major problem Chicago faces every day. August was Chicago’s deadliest month in 20 years with 472 shootings and still counting.
“We need resources to help employ young men,” Jackson said. “To build infrastructure, to properly educate.”
Jackson wants President Obama to personally visit the neighborhoods.
“He visited Orlando,” Jackson said. “He visited Colorado when they had the movie shooting. Our point is why he won’t visit Chicago the same way. We want the president to visit these war torn communities.”
Senator Dick Durbin said the president is already on top of the situation and argues that President Obama has returned to Chicago many times.
“This is his home town,” Sen. Durbin said. “Being here physically, I’m sure he will be soon. But he follows it every day.”
CBS 2 has not received a direct response from the White House on the invitation to visit Chicago neighborhoods.
The flag kicks off a series of weekend events, all designed to reduce violence this holiday weekend in Chicago.