CHICAGO (CBS) — A move to shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway in protest of violence just got Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s endorsement.
Father Michael Pfleger plans to lead more than a 1,000 people down the busy expressway Saturday morning.
Preparations are underway to keep protestors safe.
The preparations for Saturday’s protest include signing up demonstrators.
Eager marchers came to St. Sabina’s, sent emails, called or stopped Father Michael Pfleger on the street.
Busloads of people from across the Chicago area are expected to meet at 79th and the Dan Ryan, then walk down the ramp onto the highway.
When asked about entering the expressway how do you keep people from getting hit?
“I’m hoping and praying and believing that they have enough sense that when they see we’re serious and we’re not stopping, that they will shut it down,” said Pfleger.
They are the Illinois State Police, who have been pleading with Pfleger all week not to walk on the expressway.
On Friday, officials declined to comment on the pastor’s refusal to listen.
If state police don’t shut it down, what is the alternative?
“We have people ready to do it with vans, trucks, cars,” said Pfleger.
With plans to march on, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel won’t stop him.
“Look, let me say this, they should be allowed,” said Emanuel. “Because they’re going to be talking about anti-violence.”
Youth, who will be leading the anti-violence rally, put the finishing touches on the signs that highlight their demands.
“We need resources. We need funding as well as other initiatives,” said protester Trevon Bosley.
“I would like to see the governor and the mayor come together and create an office for economic development whose sole purpose is to bring in new companies, new businesses into the South and the West Side.
Father Pfleger said his intention is to conduct a peaceful march. However in the event of any arrests, lawyers will be standing by.
More than 80 have volunteered to act as observers.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker and Audrina Bigos contributed to this report.