Rolling Out

Chicago youth groups lead demonstration for Laquan McDonald #16shots

Je Nae’ Nicole Taylor – Photo by Eddy “Precise” Lamarre

The video of Laquan McDonald has been released and to say the least it is horrific and unimaginable. There were fears and concerns by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Superintendent Gary McCarthy about the possibility of riots and unrest breaking out in Chicago after they were ordered to release the video to the public by the courts.

Sixteen shots hit McDonald as he slumps over in the middle of a Chicago street and he is kicked by his killer. Sixteen shots for a boy holding a 4-inch knife in the presence of multiple armed police officers. Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent McCarthy are right to fear riots and unrest. This footage was kept from the public for a year in the midst of a mayoral election. This shooting was unconscionable and savage and the right response would be anger.

The organizations BYP 100, We Charge Genocide, Fearless Leading by the Youth,  Assata’s Daughters and Black Lives Matter Chicago assembled in the shadows of the University of Illinois Campus to process their feelings. The fact that media was there initially served as an agitator; however, once the door was opened and the chant “They think it’s a game, They think it’s a joke” spilled from the lips of these youth the message was clear. They will not allow theses injustices to go unchecked. They marched into downtown Chicago halting traffic, taking over streets all under the watchful eye of the Chicago police. There was a minor skirmish close to the Hyatt Hotel, the location of the infamous riots of 1969. Organization members Page May, Johnae Strong and Troy Alim were arrested, it calmed down quickly and the march continued peacefully as people joined and showed their support along the way. Later in the evening, Malcolm London was also arrested.

Photo by Eddy “Precise” Lamarre

Take a moment and salute these youth for their unwavering dedication to confront injustice. They deserve to be honored, but more importantly, they deserve to be given proper guidance.

A young lady told me this was a youth moment and that the youth need to be able to express themselves. I agree this movement has been sparked by the youth, but this movement is for the whole of humanity.

It is up to those who have experience and knowledge of this world to help provide guidance and counsel when it is necessary. We are currently at the tipping point. The world is changing before our eyes. How will you contribute? What can you add?

Take a look at the gallery to see pictures from the demonstration.

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