Rolling Out

‘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.

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