CHICAGO (CBS) — From standoff to shutdown.
More than 1,000 protesters took over the Dan Ryan Expressway for a peace march.
Illinois State Police said protesters would be allowed on the Dan Ryan Expressway. But two lanes of traffic would remain open.
Thousands of protesters were expected, but one surprised many.
That was Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. He walked arm in arm with Father Michael Pfleger and the Reverend Jesse Jackson during the march.
CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos reports on how it all unfolded.
They came out to march. Protesters organized and local police lined the streets.
Illinois State Police drove buses and trucks. Barricades blocked one lane of the Dan Ryan Expressway at 79th.
“There was an agreement reached and we’re going to fulfill our part of that agreement,” said ISP Director Leo Schmitz.
Anti-violence protesters walked down the ramp, but then the protest stopped.
Father Micahel Pfleger and the Reverend Jesse Jackson started negotiations with police to block all lanes.
When told that the negotiations were about one lane, Pfleger had this response.
“They are a liar. The governor is a liar. The director is a liar,” said Pfleger. “Whoever said that is a liar. We never negotiated anything.”
More than a half hour later, the protesters won.
“I t felt so good,” said Celeste Campbell who lost her son. “He was visiting a club and was shot and killed November 20, 2016.”
“I had a co-teacher of mine shot. I have students calling me while they’re being shot at,” said Mandy Tovar.
When asked why he marched with the protesters, Chicago Police Superintendent Johnson said this.
“At the end of the day, they’re marching against violence. And that benefits this entire city,” said Johnson.
“Now comes step two. This was to get their attention. We got their attention. Step two is now meet with our young people and tell us how you’re going to answer for resources, for jobs, for affordable housing, for good schools, to help those coming back from incarceration. Tell us how you’re going to help us or there will be a next direct action that’ll be more major,” said Pfleger.
Before the march, Father Pfleger made it known he did not negotiate any terms with police or Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner before Saturday.
And Pfleger, who had the support of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, didn’t hold back on how he feels about the state’s response.
“The state police and the governor were trying to shut us down,” said Pfleger. “They lied on us this morning and said that we made an agreement. There was no agreement. We didn’t come out here to get punked by the governor.”
Governor Rauner responded almost immediately on Twitter.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel responded with a tweet of his own:
Among Saturday’s protesters were students from Parkland, Florida.
They are survivors from the school shooting where 17 people died last February.
On Saturday they offered encouragement to Chicago demonstrators.