In the tradition of the Chicago Light Brigade’s annual artistic vigil for those who have fallen to violence in Chicago, community members led by the direct action collective Lifted Voices have used an artistic blockade to shut down a Chicago intersection. This protest is being carried out as a memorial to Chicago’s fallen and to demand the resignations of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Sixteen community members are putting their bodies on the line to honor those we’ve lost and to demand that the officials who have been complicit in a culture of police impunity step down. Each blockader represents one of the shots fired at Laquan McDonald on the night he was murdered by CPD. The blockade includes a shining light for each person who fell to violence in Chicago this year – whose lives might not have been lost if officials addressed the root causes of violence in our communities, rather than embracing the ineffective, racist tactics of Chicago police.
This action is being led by Indigenous and Black women who are members of the Lifted Voices direct action collective.
We do this out of love for our communities, to pay our debt to the dead, and to fight for the future of those who are still with us. We are asking for your help to ensure the prompt release of our members and supporters who joined this effort. If these funds are not needed for bail, they will go to the bond fund of Naomi Freeman, a Black woman who took the life of her abuser in self-defense, now sitting in Cook County Jail facing murder charges. As a Black woman living in Chicago, Naomi had no reason to believe that Chicago’s violent, racist police force would protect her, even if she could summon them. She did what the system would not do, and preserved her life and her future child.
As women and non-binary people of color who are dedicated to the cultural and personal defense of women and non-binary people of color, we are asking for your help.
Please join us in this act of love and resistance.
— The members of Lifted Voices
UPDATE: All the Protestors are out. Please check out our campaign to free Naomi Freeman or to learn more about the Chicago Community Bond Fund, and sign up for our mailing list, visit chicagobond.org.