Skip to content

‘Formation’-inspired protest blocks streets in Chicago

Photo credit: Kelly Hayes (@MsKellyMHayes) via Twitter

Photo credit: Kelly Hayes (@MsKellyMHayes) via Twitter

A group of female demonstrators chained themselves together in a row blocking Lake Shore Drive and Jackson Blvd in Chicago to protest a police officer who is still employed after killing a woman and the lay offs at a local university.

Chicago police say that as many as 50 women participated in a protest Saturday that disrupted the NFL Draft Town early Saturday, NBC Chicago reported. The groups involved — Assata’s Daughters, Black Lives Matter: Chicago, and F.L.Y. — were reportedly calling for the firing of Chicago police officer Dante Servin, who shot and killed 22-year-old Rekia Boyd in 2012. He was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter charges in 2015.

The protesters — dressed in berets and black jackets, much like the dancers of Beyoncé’s controversial “Formation” Superbowl Halftime performance — also demanded that the state make education a priority. Chicago State University laid off more than 300 employees on Friday due to financial issues regarding the state budget.

The website Remembering Rekia posted an explanation of the situation:

Decision makers at the local and state levels have made it clear where their financial priorities lie. We continue to receive cuts to the institutions that keep Black women safe — institutions that continue to be replaced by terrorist cops who brutalize and murder Black women without penalty.

Dante Servin murdered Rekia Boyd because he felt he could. Lawmakers refuse to give CSU the funding it needs because they feel there will be no repercussions.

Our continued resistance serves as the penalty for destroying Black Lives. There will be no uninterrupted NFL Draft Town when Black women die without justice. There will be no silence while Mayor Emanuel and the city council are cutting a $302,000 deal for an event worth $3.2 million at the same time that we cannot afford to fund Black education.

We choose to #RememberRekia by demanding that Dante Servin is fired without a pension and instead that decision makers commit full, permanent funding to Chicago State University.

#DontPayDante #SaveCSU

“We’re in formation to demand your attention. Fire Dante Servin without a pension!” #SaveCSU #dontpaydante,” one protester, Kelly Hayes, tweeted.

As many as 17 people were taken into custody, according to WGN Chicago. Traffic was cleared by 1 p.m.

Hayes retweeted a message stating that people can call (312) 745-4290 to demand that the protesters be released from custody.


  1. private on May 1, 2016 at 9:27 am

    The Constitution explicitly provides for “the right of the people peaceably to assemble” in the First Amendment. But this right is subject to constraints such as time, place and manner regulations or the requirement to obtain a permit, to ensure public safety.

    Law abiding citizens need to pressure politicians and law enforcement for stronger laws to increase the civil and criminal penalties for a protest that illegally blocks vehicular or pedestrian traffic. The right to protest does not grant the right to subject the driving public to FALSE IMPRISONMENT. See definition below:

    “any person who intentionally restricts another’s freedom of movement without their consent (and without legal justification) may be liable for false imprisonment, which is both a crime and a civil wrong. It can occur in a room, on the streets, or even in a moving vehicle—just as long as the subject is unable to move freely, against his or her will.”

    At each such illegal protest the police should not only arrest and charge the offenders, but also make public the names of everyone involved. A legal fund can be established to assist the drivers who were illegally detained to sue each protester individually.

    Its time for law abiding citizens to “take back our streets”.

    • Jason on May 1, 2016 at 12:29 pm

      Whatever. Protests should inconvenience people like you.

      • private on May 1, 2016 at 1:03 pm

        If you think unlimited protests by any group is OK, I would hate to live in your world. Lets see, hypothetically… how would you feel if everyday of your workday commute (assuming you work) was significantly impacted by protesting groups. On Monday, 3 hr highway interruption by PETA, followed by Tuesday, 3 hr highway interruption by R2L, don’t forget Wednesday protest by Vegans, and Thursday’s protest by an anti-nuclear power group…and ON and ON..Forever.

        All groups feel their cause is important and the “right to assemble” does not discriminate, even for hate groups.

        There is a big difference between occasional “inconvenience” by legal protest or other organized activity such as a parade along a city street than what we are seeing today with BLM, what amounts to an unjustified and criminal activity by protesters under the guise of exercising “their rights”.

        • Jason on May 1, 2016 at 2:44 pm

          How would you feel to see those who look like you getting shotdown and killed in the streets while the killers constantly get reduced sentences or get set free by crooked DAs and judges?

          • private on May 1, 2016 at 3:07 pm

            Your use of the word “killers” implies murder and does not acknowledge legally justified actions. Except in RARE isolated occurrences, police are NOT intentionally killing unarmed black males if you consider the FACTS.

            Look at the Guardians “The Counted” data for 2015. If you filter the police shootings by race for unarmed male deaths, the total is 103, of which 43 were white, 37 black, 20 Hispanic, and 3 other. Since more whites have actually been killed by police, why are there not more protests for these shootings?

            Out of the 37 unarmed black shootings, 14 people struggled with the officer, 7 reached for the officers weapon, 5 made suspicious moves or were believed to have pointed a weapon and 2 dragged the officer in a car.

            To date concerning unarmed black shootings in 2015, six (other shootings still under investigation) cases, like Anthony Hill, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, William Chapman II, Samuel Dubose, and Paterson Brown Jr involve the officer being charged.

          • Jason on May 2, 2016 at 9:06 pm

            You can keep all of your “data”. People here know that an officer being charged is different than a race soldier being convicted by a court AND serving time in prison. People here also know that officers lie about what happens on the street everyday.

          • private on May 3, 2016 at 8:11 am

            You can’t just ignore FACTS and DATA. Are you saying criminals don’t lie? Should criminals be left alone by the police? Why the “snitches get stitches” rule?

          • Jason on May 4, 2016 at 7:55 am

            Stop watching so much Foxnews. If anyone has a no snitching code – it is the police who standby while their fellow race soldiers kill unarmed blacks. Ever heard of that BLUE WALL?

          • private on May 4, 2016 at 11:49 am

            I cut cable TV along time ago, so sorry no Fox news. CSPAN is the way to go, both left and right represented. But I would bet you mostly watch MSNBC. You did not answer the “snitches get stitches” question but deflected to the police. Why do innocent citizens in some urban areas feel afraid to report crimes?

            ShotSpotter data from Washington, D.C., and Oakland, CA has scientifically documented that only a tiny fraction of gunfire incidents actually get reported by a 911 call, thereby indicating much more gun violence actually occurring. How much witness intimidation is actually occurring?

          • Jason on May 5, 2016 at 12:04 am

            Myth – people report crimes. Why do cops protect bad cops?

          • Jason on May 5, 2016 at 12:07 am

            Inner city Blacks have never had a good relationship with cops, so why should they trust them? Regardless of your thoughts about cops – they do have bad apples that prey on weak and poor people everyday. I know you can’t possibly fathom the though, so I will spare you more details.

          • private on May 5, 2016 at 7:19 am

            Of course there are some bad apples in the police force and one way to help their overall image is to remove any economic incentive by placing all ticket revenue into a fund that goes only toward community improvements. If people would have car insurance, valid plates, obey traffic laws, etc. there would be much less negative interactions.

            The vast majority of the people that have a problem with police are the people breaking the laws. Certainly the victims who make the 911 calls do not have a problem with police. And there are plenty of victims…just look at the crime victimization reports for urban areas.

          • cupcake333 on May 2, 2016 at 9:44 pm

            what about the couple who was in their car and a few friendly white cops fired 40 round of bullets in their car, over killing them , because they though they were moving>> and only one of them got indicted? there are more cases of police overkill on humans so not just this one . or the man in maryland the cop chased down shot in the back and tried to plant a taser next to the body.? hugh and that aint even all cops are not fair to black citiezen and never have been for 200 years the polcie dept has been coorupt some men died in prison given 55 years for 2lbs of mariquanna when the white boy sold meth and got parole in 5 years and meth has killed more people thank crack and weed put together .. meth labs are still running do to the leniant sentences white criminals are not packing the prison cause they all are in the miltary legally killing afghans white men were breed to kill its clear .. who did the slave owner hire to track down kill and torture runaway slaves? poor white trash who didnt make it as a solider in the civil war or were to stupid to even fight in combat … i swear i wouldnt want to be white that pressure of being the only race with a barbarric history of murderers , would be to much for me too bare . no wonder whites pretend president obama is a cancer sore they cant heal ..
            its so much shame in america the elephant in the room was obama ainbt even full black hes white too .. and even black folks want to claim him al the time .. he wants to embarace both races . .he is the symbol that both races can be united

          • private on May 3, 2016 at 8:03 am

            I agree that when police do wrongly kill people (all races) like the 2 people shot in their car, they should be held accountable. Unfortunately jurors can only decide on the evidence provided, although the DOJ still can act on the Brelo incident. If you read the end of my post, you will see I mentioned 6 officer arrests in 2015, including the one you mentioned with the taser in Maryland – the Walter Scott shooting.

            Stating rare cases where a person charged with mere possession is given a long prison sentence does not give the true picture of who is actually incarcerated. Instead of blindly believing what is written in Huff Post, Salon and other liberal biased news actually look at the data provided by the Bureau of Prisons. If you examine 2014 statistics , 53% of state prisoners and 7% of federal prisoners were locked up for violent crimes.

          • FreedomOfSpeach on May 2, 2016 at 4:49 pm

            F-off, obey the law, respect authority, learn some personal responsibility, raise your young to do the same.

          • Jason on May 2, 2016 at 9:08 pm

            You suspected white supremacists / coons are a riot. You scream obey the law, but are the first to squeal when pulled over for a speeding ticket. I am sure I don’t need to list the many people killed who were not breaking the law. Maybe you should give your “F-off, obey the law,…” speech to your race soldiers posing as police. #killyourself

          • cupcake333 on May 2, 2016 at 10:15 pm

            you need to read did adam lanza , the colorado movie killer , the ted bundy guy , jack the ripper , greenriver killer . the b2k killer in kansas . and all the skin heads on THE KILLER SPEAKS DOCUMENTARY ON NET FLIX .. most all those savage killers were non but white pschos yall cant talk .. .hundred of black men who did no crimes at all were hung from trees from the 1900 all way to 1950s EMMITTE TILL . killed by two white men hung balls cutt off , tongue cut. and torchured foramusement by the white man murderous evil mind . .. black men are their own ememies . usually killing each other so what . why you want to keep using that to shame us . or keep us hush form protesting the wrong of white cops who get out the milatary tired of killing innocent afghans come home grab a cop badge with no human connection with blacks and expected to patrol a black area thats ludacrist .. not enough black cops to put in the black neighvorhoods white men whom never had any compassion for blacks as a kid was not allowed to socialize with blacks or date them now hes an adult an he got a cop badge now he can do what his racist bama uncles couldnt kill up a few NI..GERS RIGHT?
            BUT YET YOU CANT DO NOTHING BUT WORRY BOUT UNDER PRIVELEGED BLACK MEN USUALLY FORM NO EDUCATION OR OPPORTUNITIE CAUSE ALL THE JOBS are going under the table to mexicans so all white men can do is talk bout how lazy blacks are as an excuse not to hire black men whom was big and strohng enough to crop fields and pull a horse plow but now he cant do shit for you /? its not mexican who owe us it whites .. yes owe ..
            if your were the ones slaved you be paying let a irish italian french englis white man been plowing field you would have a trust fund set up . .but to keep from paynng us you lock us up .. . for petty drug crimes selling drugs anint never hurt the white community so why is it usually white in protest? of our ignorant laws .. guilt guilt guilt .. . all it is is guity . .white men

            so knowing it was them that hung all themn innocent men from trees damaging families who to this day is displacant gneration curse of souls still lost ….. no wonder all white sank in the titanic .. no black were on board i hear .. do we suppose to feel bad .and yall hung hundreds of black men from tree cooking them on camp fires etc . . you need to tread

            the first president of the usa was a black man name john hanson . .i bet your whtie teacher didnt mention him … we know why .. something gotta do with the changing of the amendents so anyone before washingon could not be counted? lol white folks fix all that up …
            think it would effect whites badly if they knew all that killing to hold balck back was fruitless when the president was black 400 years ago haaaa funny how we study history you tube help us know the truth … if not for you tube people would be lost on history .

        • FreedomOfSpeach on May 2, 2016 at 4:48 pm


      • CoCo Revolu on May 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm

        Well and concisely said, Jason. Protests only work then they inconvenience people.

        • private on May 1, 2016 at 7:35 pm

          A burglar stealing from someone “only works when they inconvenience people.” When laws are broken the person protesting is no longer a protester but rather a criminal. Society has a remedy for this type of illegal activity…civil fines and prison.

        • disqusted on May 1, 2016 at 8:42 pm

          They are certainly useful…for making the general public hate each and every one of these turds

        • Chris on May 2, 2016 at 7:51 am

          I would argue inconveniencing people indiscriminately has an adverse effect.
          If they would have done this blocking the way to and from the courthouse, or state building you could easily have accomplished the same thing, without stopping a bunch of people in the middle of the road for no conceivable reason.
          They absolutely have reason to be protesting, but this form of ‘we’re going to stop random people from getting places’ serves 0 purpose. none.
          I suppose you also support PETA throwing paint on people in leather jackets or fur. I mean that’s mighty inconvenient.

      • Chris on May 2, 2016 at 7:46 am

        and why should a protest inconvenience someone not involved in the decision being protested?
        Would this not have had as big or bigger effect in front of the state building, where it inconvenienced no one but state and trial workers involved?
        You want the quickest way to get me on the opposite side of that protest, regardless of their cause? keep me from getting home to take care of my children, which leaves my wife stuck there, and jeopardizes her job.
        You get her fired, and we lose the house. but no, tell me again how it should inconvenience ‘people like me’ because you have a legitimate problem with a trial verdict.

        • Sergeant Pepper on May 2, 2016 at 9:01 pm

          That’s a lot of hypotheticals. So instead of being mad at what actually happen. (which can happen to you if you meet ofc. Dickhead on a bad day) youre mad at how it probably wont affect you. Its Chicago accidents and construction will hold you up more than a protest on michigan ave. You got wacker, lsd, wabash. Youll find a way home instead of bitching and moaning

          • Chris on May 2, 2016 at 9:36 pm

            If you want to play the ‘hypothetical’ game, yours are far less likely then mine. in 30 years, i have never encountered ‘officer dick head on a bad day’ Nor have I had an issue with wacker, lsd or wabash adversely affect my drive. Accidents, occasionally. This is not an accident, this is deliberate. HUGE difference there.
            What i gave you is a very simple cause and effect, if rush hour at 530 was interrupted (and these ambush protesters seem to target that, on at least 2 occasions) my wife doesn’t leave for work on time. I’m more concerned with my wife’s dickhead boss then your nefarious ‘officer dickhead’. I suppose in your world though i can just find my wife another job, along with that other way home? or maybe just find a cheaper house?
            i mean, apparently other people don’t factor into your concept of these protests, and neither does cause and effect.
            If they chained themselves up in front of the doors of the court house, they get face time with the people that made the decision they are supposedly protesting, inconvenience THEM, and get equal media attention.

          • Chris on May 3, 2016 at 12:07 am

            Look, don’t think i don’t get civil disobedience, i do, and don’t think i don’t get the issue, or think it’s legitimate, it is.

            What I am saying, is this tactic causes pretty severe issues for some people and the ambush protesters give 0 heed to it. As a strategy it alienates as many as it brings in, ultimately making it a failure. As a protest form, it’s hardly iconic, so much as a nuisance/detriment to people the activists could just as easily have on their side, in some cases ALREADY had on their side. Funny thing about that is I’ve shown up to a few of these protests, and more then once been told to get my a** out of there because “it wasn’t for me”. Young kids being young and angry, i’d just as soon go anyway(i would also argue it’s FOR everyone). That being said, I get snagged by one of these ambush protests, and you better believe, that has 0 support from me.
            The salt marches, montgomery’s bus boycotts, Kent State, freedom rides. All of these things were iconic, and NONE of them perpetrated with the deliberate intention of inconveniencing people other then the target of protest. I see none of the successful traits of these in the street blocking campaigns of these ambush protesters.

            Deliberately blocking traffic because ‘you need to inconvenience people to get your point across’ is pedantic, the goal isn’t to inconvenience people into jailing x cop, or putting BACK x dollars taken, that’s a short and untenable goal, requiring constant upkeep. The goal SHOULD be win allies, bring people to your side of thinking, i’d show up for that. Hearts and minds man.

      • FreedomOfSpeach on May 2, 2016 at 4:48 pm

        Why don’t you go get a job. I’m sorry if you don’t know what that means.

        • Jason on May 2, 2016 at 9:09 pm

          Been working since I was 16, and for myself for the past 10 years. Go back to your cave.

        • cupcake333 on May 3, 2016 at 11:55 am

          WHO ARE YOU TELLING TO GO GET AJOB I HAPPEN TO BE A SUCCESSFUL WRITER OK… and if your on this site you got to much time on your hands too . lol

  2. Me on May 1, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Really? Formation? Come on Rolling out. You could have come up with a better analogy than that. Beyonce was not the first to dress this way.

    • guest on May 2, 2016 at 11:46 am

      I have no idea what this had to do with Beyoncé.

    • Chicago on May 2, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      The protest used the word formation in banners and chants. There was also reference to Beyonce with lemonade there to drink.

      Things to keep in mind, in Chicago accidents, snow, rain, or construction all cause larger traffic issues than the protest. Cars were able to get rerouted around things with 15 minutes or so. If you don’t plan for an extra 15-20 minutes driving in the city with a large event happening then you’re not from Chicago.

      This is known as “civil disobedience” which some people may recall reading about in school. Everyone knows it’s illegal. That’s the point. And let’s be honest, no one would care right now about Dante Servin there weren’t groups who won’t allow it to drop from the news headlines.

      • Sergeant Pepper on May 2, 2016 at 8:56 pm

        Should be rotting in jail. The only reason he is free is because of a technicality due to the ineptitude of alvarez. But its moot because 1 i believe McCarthy fired him and 2. He cant be tried again.

    • shellyTheGreat on May 2, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      the protesters themselves said they were getting in formation…look on the twitter page of the girl who put up the video

      • FreedomOfSpeach on May 2, 2016 at 4:51 pm

        Get in formation in front of my car and you’ll likely get more than you asked for.

        • Sergeant Pepper on May 2, 2016 at 8:53 pm

          Then you can getbfined for striking a pedestrian. Or jail time for hit and run. Law works both ways idiot.

          • FreedomOfSpeach on May 2, 2016 at 9:46 pm

            Somebody’s got to do it. Will keep the kids out the street next time.

        • shellyTheGreat on May 2, 2016 at 9:21 pm

          you crazy, pasty fool, go back to storm front!!!!

  3. cupcake333 on May 2, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    first off somebody need to get a history book and read THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE USA WAS ABLACK MAN NAMED JOHN HANSON .. president obama know of him very well , there were 7 presidents never named that were here before dam george washington george washington worked for our first black president campaign manager etc . . you white folks need to understand that black men have not committe half the crimes against hunanity white men have .. remember the NEBRASKA RIOTS OF 1920S AND ROSE WOOD , EMMITTE TILLS MURDER . AND SAM COOK MURDER . and then 100 black men killed by police in the last 20 years killed execution style for what they call disobedient when no one did any crime to be killed for . .a white man get stopped in a car will never come up dead .. i watch a white cope on youtube begging a white man with a knife to drop the knife for over 25 min beggin had he been black he would been dead . .. this white guy kept comeing up on the cop he said BRANDON DROP THE KNIFE!!! ABOUT 10 TIMES . . BEFORE OTHER COPS TASERED HIM AND BOUGHT HIM DOWN . ..but freddie gray was choked to death. tamir rice shot for holding a toy gun .no question ask they could of ask him is that a real gun he would of told them no .. they could of waited to see if he walk up on them non of that happen theyshot a child down in cold blood yet whites cant remember timothy mcvieght or adam lanza .they worry bout black men .. why . .all tthat guilt form their ancestory is causing them to be even madder .