About 600 people gathered Sunday afternoon at two downtown protests, one at Millennium Park, the other across the river from Trump Tower, to denounce white supremacists, fascism and President Donald J. Trump.
“All my family is African-American, and I wouldn’t want my family and or my friends or other people who look the same as me to be treated differently because of their race or their ethnicity or their cultural background,” said Taiwo Shodipe, 26, of Uptown.
She was one of about 300 people who gathered in Millennium Park near Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue.
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Protest chants included “No Trump. No KKK. No fascist USA.”
“I think that clearly what’s wrong with our political system is that more people don’t get involved,” said Rev. Elric Sampson, 82, a Catholic priest stationed at St. Peter’s in the Loop.
“And it’s always after the fact, after someone gets in who doesn’t speak to the values of the country, that they complain,” Sampson said.
“In our last election half the people who are eligible to vote didn’t vote. Some people figure that ‘if I’m not black or an immigrant or a lesbian, then it doesn’t involve me, but it does. It does.”
Rachel Hinton held a sign that said “My grandparents didn’t escape Nazi Germany for this s—.”
Her deceased Jewish grandparents “would be devastated to see Nazis marching in the streets without shame or fear,” she said.
“They always told us this country gave us their lives and their freedom and it’s a place to be yourself,” said Hinton, 33, an editor who works at a publishing company and lives in Lincoln Square.
Speakers at the protest denounced violent white supremacists who clashed with counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend that resulted in the death of one woman who was struck by a car that was driven into a crowd of demonstrators.
“As a white woman, these people do not speak for me,” Mirjam Quinn said of the racist protesters in Virginia.
“I’m completely horrified by these events,” said Quinn, a psychologist who lives in the Beverly neighborhood and attended the demonstration with her 7-year-old daughter, Agnes.
Protesters from Millennium Park joined forces with demonstrators outside of Trump Tower at 2:30 p.m. Police shut down Wabash Avenue Bridge to keep the crowd across the river from Trump Tower.
The mostly white crowd was peaceful. No counter demonstrators were on hand. Police had made no arrests as of 2:45 p.m.
Dozens of officers on bikes and on foot kept an eye on the proceedings.