Black Lives Matter Demonstrators Hold Michigan Avenue Vigil

Black Lives Matter Demonstrators Hold Michigan Avenue Vigil

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Demonstrators held a vigil Saturday night in downtown Chicago, but were prevented from shutting down the Magnificent Mile as they wanted to.

The group of about 100 were led by Rabbi Michael Ben Yosef, who wanted to honor victims of gun violence whose murders have not been solved by police.

But police were ready for the protesters. Groups of police were on every corner downtown and a long line of police on bikes blocked protesters from taking over the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Ohio Street. Many nearby stores still had their windows broaden up after being victims of looting twice this summer.

The evening started with a rally. Youth activist Troy Gaston addressed some of the onlookers who had been shopping.

“They said white America approves of what is going on because of you all silence,” he said. “The silence does nothing but perpetuate corporate greed.”

Also, a mother of a young man killed by police in California spoke.

After being turned away from Ohio Street, the protesters headed to the Chicago River. In front of the Wrigley Building, they sat in a circle on the street and lit candles. Yosef prayed for the victims of gun violence.

At about 7:30 p.m., the peaceful group dispersed because there was concern that some more strident protesters were headed downtown.

Sarah Karp covers education for WBEZ. Follow her @sskedreporter.