Marchers Fill Chicago Streets As Downtown Access Is Limited

George Floyd march Cabrini-Green
Thousands who marched from Chicago's Union Park on the Near West Side pack an open area near the site of the former Cabrini Green public housing project. Katherine Nagasawa / WBEZ
George Floyd march Cabrini-Green
Thousands who marched from Chicago's Union Park on the Near West Side pack an open area near the site of the former Cabrini Green public housing project. Katherine Nagasawa / WBEZ

Marchers Fill Chicago Streets As Downtown Access Is Limited

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Chicago on Saturday, chanting and waving signs to protest the death of George Floyd and the police mistreatment of people of color.

The largest march kicked off from Union Park on the city’s near West Side where organizers urged protesters to remain peaceful before the crowd headed north. Police estimated the crowd size at 20,000, according to the Chicago Tribune.

George Floyd protest Union Park Chicago
Artist Jieun Yu painted a rendering of George Floyd over the course of the march in Chicago on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Katherine Nagasawa / WBEZ

Thousands walked through the streets of nearby neighborhoods, chanting, carrying signs and occasionally kneeling silently. Overhead video showed the marchers filling the streets for several blocks.

The march ended at the location of the former Cabrini Green public housing project on the city’s Near North Side.

“We have the first amendment right to gather peacefully in protest,” organizer Dom Brown told the Tribune. “We want justice for every black life brutally taken by police.”

George Floyd protest Union Park Chicago flag
Demonstrators on the Near North Side of Chicago on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Katherine Nagasawa / WBEZ

Like many of the protests held elsewhere, the ones in Chicago toward the end of the week were peaceful and police also reported fewer arrests related to unrest. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was hopeful that would continue through the weekend, but she kept a nightly curfew in effect.

City officials closed some downtown highway ramps and roads, including a stretch of Lake Shore Drive. The city is limiting access to the Loop by raising most Chicago River bridges this weekend.