Black lives do matter to Father Michael Pfleger in Chicago.
The white priest is doing what Jesus would do and will walk hand-in-hand as a foot solider in his community to protest the city’s gun violence problem and call for change. Even without the support of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Father Pfleger has plans to shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway and march along with other protestors on Saturday, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
“They’ll close any expressway when a president comes into town, they’ll close it for every event that’s been going on in this city, they close it down Lake Shore Drive for the Bulls… ” Pfleger said. “Why don’t you close it down for people and for lives?”
Chicago had 650 homicides in 2017, the most in the nation, according to USA Today. And as the weather gets warmer, gun violence has reportedly been on the rise in the city.
Police vow to shut down the protests and hand delivered a letter saying they will arrest anyone who disrupts Chicago’s busiest expressways—but Pfleger, priest at St. Sabina Church is hitting back.
“If they say doing this will pull officers from the most needed neighborhoods in the city of Chicago then pull them from the North Side,” Pfleger said, at a news conference Tuesday.
“This call to protest on the Dan Ryan, however well-intentioned, could be considered reckless and must be strongly discouraged,” Schmitz said Tuesday.
“The potential of death or injury to pedestrians on the expressway, no matter how righteous the cause, is enormous.
“We’re not looking to arrest people,” Schmitz said. “If people break the law, we may have to arrest people, but that’s not what our goal is here.”
Protesters are planning to block off the northbound lanes of the expressway from 79th to 67th Streets Saturday morning, the news reports.