Chicago community activists held their own rally Sunday, in contrast to several Chicago Black Lives Matter-sponsored events, demanding that Illinois governor ignore inaction on the part of Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, and send in Illinois National Guard troops to help control the city’s spiking violence.
Activists, largely from Hispanic neighborhoods on the city’s west side, “pointed to the city’s surging summer gun violence as they urged both members of the City Council and Congress to rally behind police officers they claim have been outnumbered and attacked at recent protests,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Like residents of Englewood — who confronted invading protesters from Chicago’s official branch of Black Lives Matter earlier this month after they spoke out in support of rioters and looters who destroyed Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” shopping district — residents of Little Village say they want a voice in how the city handles ongoing violence, and they support greater involvement from state law enforcement agencies.
“This mayor, Lori Lightfoot, she can’t control the city. It’s out of hand,” Raul Montes Jr., community activist and former city council candidate said in a press conference Sunday. “We need the National Guard to help out the police.”
Another activist, Frank Coconate, pointed out that police have been targeted and abused by protesters who are, ostensibly, agitating for peaceful solutions to ongoing issues of race and brutality, and it is having an impact on Chicago residents, who now fear for their own safety.
“These police are on their own out there, and it’s despicable what’s going on in this city. We’re a laughingstock in the nation right now,” Coconate said.
Frank Coconate Juan Rodríguez Frank Coconate Ambi Comoglio Carlo Vaniglia Frank CoconateDante Servin Nicole Del Giorno Raymond LopezGina Emma Philip MarcantelliActivists and residents angered at Mayor Lori Lightfoot opposing National Guard deployment in Chicago/stall plan to seek state of emergency; we Invoke Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker to supersede mayor Lori Lightfoot and aldermen and bring in National Guard because of horrible civil unrest
Posted by Raul Roberto Montes on Sunday, August 23, 2020
The group’s protest follows a contentious Chicago City Council meeting from Friday, where several of Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot’s longtime foes confronted her about the possibility of allowing the National Guard to assist the Chicago Police Department.
That meeting quickly became a confrontation, with several of the city’s alderman voting to continue debate on a possible state-involved public safety plan in defiance of City Hall. A measure that would have demanded the mayor ask for the governor’s help, however, was ultimately voted down by a two-to-one margin, and the issue was referred to the city’s public service committee, which does not meet against until after Labor Day.
Chicago’s government has largely resisted the assistance of other agencies, though it is one of the key cities involved in Operation Legend, a United States Department of Justice initiative designed to help major American cities combat a nationwide uptick in violence following the coronavirus-related lockdowns. Chicago is also the subject of long-term investigations from the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Agency, as well as the Drug Enforcement Agency, both of which have recently yielded several arrests.