Protesters Gather Outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Home, Call For Resignation
Above Photo: Protesers draw a line in the slush between the sidewalk and the property as they protest Dec. 29, 2015, in front of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)
A small group of protesters gathered outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel‘s North Side home Tuesday, when he was expected to cut short a family vacation in Cuba so he could tend to another high-profile police-involved shooting.
About two dozen activists chanted “Who gotta go? Rahm gotta go!” outside Emanuel’s three-story colonial house in the Ravenswood community. Four uniformed police officers stood guard.
“Today, we’re asking you, right in front your house, for Rahm Emanuel to step down,” said activist Ja’Mal Green, who until recently participated in the mayor’s anti-violence campaigns. “A real leader knows when to step down and when you can allow someone else to lead.”
Protesters pointed to the fatal shootings by police over the weekend of Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones in Austin on the West Side to bolster their complaints of unfair policing in some neighborhoods.
“No one here in this neighborhood is afraid to open their doors when they hear police are coming,” said Gregory Livingston of the Coalition for a New Chicago. “But the people on Erie (Street in Austin, where LeGrier and Jones were shot), you must understand, live in a state of fear. It’s not a code of silence, it’s a state of fear.
“We believe that Austin and Englewood and all these neighborhoods should have the same type of policing as they do in Ravenswood, Lakeview and Lincoln Park.”
The protest leaders used social media to organize the impromptu demonstration, giving Emanuel’s address and asking people to gather outside the mayor’s house. The home was shuttered and dark, and a newspaper was hanging on the handle of the front door.
One protester noted Emanuel’s sidewalk still had not been shoveled after a mix of rain and sleet left a 2-inch accumulation in some places.
“Everyone pick up your phone and dial 311 to report he hasn’t shoveled his snow,” one man said jokingly.
An ambulance responded to the house for a protester who claimed to have hurt his ankle on the icy sidewalk. The man asked paramedics to examine his ankle at the scene, then he rejoined the group.
An ambulance was called a second time for a protester who claimed to have hurt his foot on the sidewalk. That man also was checked out and he returned to the demonstration.
For the roughly five hours, protesters staked out Emanuel’s home, they appeared to make themselves comfortable, picking up Dunkin Donuts coffee and ordering pizza deliverers on four separate occasions to the mayoral address.
At one point, several pizza boxes, crusts and whole slices were strewn in front of Emanuel’s house. Protesters cleaned up before they dispersed.
After several hours, a woman walked from the side of Emanuel’s home and entered in his front door to jeering protesters.
Later, a black SUV sped past his home. Emanuel could later be seen speaking on the phone from a side window, which drew loud howls from activists.