CHICAGO (CBS) — Protesters turned out in force in Lakeview and Uptown Monday evening, and the group said it wanted to stress peace.
CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini reported upwards of 500 people turned out for the march, which began at Belmont and Wilton avenues near the Belmont Avenue Red, Brown, and Purple Line stop.
Much of the group marched northwest on Lincoln Avenue from the DePaul area before stopping at Belmont and Wilton.
Lifelong Chicagoan Emma, 25, said she wanted to stand up for the rights of others and make a difference.
“I feel like personally for me that as white person as an American, it’s my duty to stand up for my friends, my family, and my loved ones who are being tortured and discriminated against for the color of their skin,” Emma said.
Savini asked Emma what she thought of the violence and looting that went on downtown on Saturday and in several other areas on Sunday.
“The looting is just a side of what’s happened with the peaceful protesters,” she said. “The peaceful protesters are out here trying to get their voice heard; trying to get change to happen, and looters are just a side piece of what’s going on.”
The protesters marched east on Belmont Avenue, north on Halsted Street through the Boystown strip, and then north on Broadway to Sunnyside Avenue in Uptown – in front of the Stewart School Lofts building that was converted into apartments after it closed as a public school.
Savini said police were not seen out in force during the march except at the beginning and at the end – where there were about 20 uniformed officers with bicycles.
At Broadway and Sunnyside Avenue, the group took a knee and shouted, “Black lives matter,” and the name of George Floyd – the man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day and whose death sparked nationwide outrage.
Many participants talked about using what they called their white privilege to help black people.
By 6:30 p.m., about 2,000 people had joined the protest and the police presence had grown.
The protesters later headed back south on Broadway and then east on Irving Park Road toward Lake Shore Drive. They went on to march on Lake Shore Drive, Wilson Avenue, Clark Street, and Addison Street — where some stopped in front of Wrigley Field before heading toward Inner Lake Shore Drive.
As of the 10 p.m. hour, some protesters had made it all the way to Wicker Park and were still marching despite the curfew being in effect, CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported. About 100 people remained on the street there.
Organizers emphasized from the beginning that the march would be peaceful, and it was.
Still, with violent threats circulating on social media, numerous businesses along thoroughfares including Halsted Street, Broadway, and Southport Avenue boarded up Sunday and Monday.