Truth NGO – Thousands of demonstrators have marched in the US city of Chicago to pressure public officials to do more to stop gun-related violence.
The protesters marched on Saturday on all five northbound lanes of Chicago’s Dan Ryan Expressway, bringing the interstate to a standstill to draw attention to the problem that has claimed hundreds of lives in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.
Some of the demonstrators stopped to write on the road with chalk: “Enough is enough” and “Peace,” with some others calling for “national common sense gun laws.”
They also demanded more public resources, more jobs, better schools and economic development for their communities.
A line of police officers and their parked vehicles initially split the northbound highway in half, planning to allow marchers to walk in the right two lanes while keeping two left lanes open to traffic.
However, demonstrators, including Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic Church and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, demanded all five lanes.
“We will not march on the side of the highway. We’re marching on the highway,” Jackson said by megaphone.
The crowd shouted “Shut it down!” and “Black lives matter!”
Protester Laura Hussein told CNN that she her 18-year-old son and some friends and colleagues participated in the march “because the cost of ignoring gun violence in Chicago is too high.”
“Every week we lose women, children, and especially brown and black boys and men to senseless gun violence,” she said.
Each year, more than 32,000 people die as a consequence of gun-related violence in the United States, which is by far the highest among industrialized countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the Virginia Center for Public Safety, since former President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, more Americans have been killed as a result of gun violence than all US wars.