Chicago needs to crack down on illegal expressway-blocking protests

Readability

Chicago needs to crack down on illegal expressway-blocking protests

[cap­tion id=“attachment_108308” align=“alignright” width=“300”] Lake Shore Drive blocked by police[/caption]

By John Ruberry

For the sec­ond time in less than a month, left-​wing pro­test­ers ille­gally blocked a major Chicago express­way, with the goal of bring­ing atten­tion to gun vio­lence in America’s third-​largest city.

You know what? Peo­ple in Chicago and its sub­urbs already know about the homi­cide epi­demic. As do most peo­ple nation­wide. Last year Chicago, as it did in 2016, suf­fered more mur­ders than the far-​more pop­u­lous cities of New York And Loa Ange­les – combined.

On the flip­side, accord­ing to Hey Jack­ass, mur­ders and shoot­ings are down in 2018 com­pared to last year.

Zero mur­ders should be the goal of any soci­ety, although, given human nature, it’s not even a remotely real­is­tic one. But Chicago can do much better.

I cov­ered the most recent law­break­ing protest, the Thurs­day after­noon rush hour block­ing of Lake Shore Drive on Chicago’s North Side for my blog, Marathon Pun­dit. You can read my report here. You’ll learn that the rally was really a col­lec­tion of a baker’s dozen of left­ist grievances.

What was that I said about ille­gal protests? Has fas­cism, as the left­ists claim, con­quered Amer­ica under Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump? What hap­pened to the First Amend­ment of the US Constitution?

Noth­ing has hap­pened to the First Amendment.

Let’s see what that right-​wing group (just kdding), the ACLU of Illi­nois, has to say about street-​blocking protests:

[cap­tion id=“attachment_108312” align=“alignright” width=“300”] Pro­test­ers block­ing traf­fic on Bel­mont Avenue last week[/caption]

In some cases, gov­ern­ment can require a per­mit as a con­di­tion of protest on pub­lic prop­erty. For exam­ple, gov­ern­ment often can require a per­mit for parades in the streets, given the impact on vehi­cle traffic.

More…

Pro­test­ers do not have [empha­sis mine] a First Amend­ment right to block pedes­trian or vehi­cle traf­fic, or to pre­vent entry and exit from buildings.

Father Michael Pfleger, the gad­fly left-​wing Chicago priest, did not pos­sess a rally per­mit when he and his fol­low­ers blocked the 14-​lane Dan Ryan Express­way last month on a Sat­ur­day after­noon on the South Side. Should’ve he been arrested? That’s a tough call, as the Illi­nois State Police, which has juris­dic­tion on this inter­state, allowed Pfleger’s group to block the Dan Ryan.

So here we have cops, with the acqui­es­cence of Gov­er­nor Bruce Rauner, a Repub­li­can by the way, con­sent­ing to law break­ing. Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, expressed sup­port for the protest.

At the block-​Lake Shore Drive rally„ accord­ing to the Chicago Police, who has juris­dic­tion on that road, that event saw 150 pro­test­ers block eight lanes of traf­fic, ruin­ing the com­mutes of thou­sands. Tio Hardi­man and Gre­gory Liv­ingston, the orga­niz­ers of last week’s protest, care­fully chose the day of their dis­rup­tion. A few miles south of Bel­mont Avenue, where the rally began, the first day of the Lol­lapolooza fes­ti­val was under­way. And about a mile away the Chicago Cubs were host­ing the San Diego Padres for a night game. While they chose their day well, Hardi­man and Liv­ingston didn’t have a rally per­mit either. I guess they were so busy rabble-​rousing that they sim­ply for­got to apply for one.

[cap­tion id=“attachment_108313” align=“alignleft” width=“253”] Protest co-​organizer Hardi­man: “Where is your rally permit?“[/caption]

Let’s take a closer look at those protest num­bers. We know there were just 150 activists block­ing Lake Shore Drive. Keep­ing an eye on the marchers were any­where from 300400 police offi­cers. Also along for the hike, which ended at Wrigley Field, were 100 media rep­re­sen­ta­tives and blog­gers, includ­ing of course this one.

What about the cost?

The state spent $323,000 on the Dan Ryan protest. Munic­i­pal fig­ures haven’t been released yet but it’s a safe guess that when those Chicago num­bers are tal­lied, the cost of Pfleger’s protest will soar past a half-​million dollars.

And when the Lake Shore Drive fig­ures are added, will the costs of the two ille­gal ral­lies exceed $1 mil­lion? My pre­dic­tion is they will.

If these protests were held instead down­town at a tra­di­tional and easy to patrol loca­tion, such as Daley Plaza, the tax­payer out­lay would have been a pit­tance. And the plaza can han­dle many more than 150 peo­ple. Activists can enjoy their First Amend­ment rights there with min­i­mal has­sles for the rest of Chicago. And since all pro­test­ers seek media atten­tion, nearly all of Chicago’s press and broad­cast out­lets have offices within walk­ing dis­tance of Daley Plaza. Every­one wins.

When unfunded pen­sion debt is fig­ured in, Illi­nois and Chicago are essen­tially broke. Chicago and Illi­nois are suf­fer­ing from neg­a­tive pop­u­la­tion growth.. And if such banana repub­lic type protests con­tinue to run amok, more peo­ple will throw up their hands and join the exodus.

There is another possibility.

Left­ists fondly look back the 1960s protests at Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Berke­ley as the good old days. But Ronald Rea­gan trounced an incum­bent Demo­c­ra­tic gov­er­nor in 1966 by among other things, vow­ing to clean up “the mess” at Berke­ley. How­ever, Cal­i­for­nia was right-​leaning five decades ago.

At some point Chicagoans, will scream, “Enough!”

Espe­cially if these express­way protest­paloozas become monthly occurrences.

[cap­tion id=“attachment_95046” align=“alignright” width=“300”] Blog­ger in down­town Chicago[/caption]

These ille­gal protests need to end. The police need to enforce the law. And that means arrest­ing and pros­e­cut­ing the orga­niz­ers of these exer­cises in lawbreaking.

We are still a nation of laws.

John Ruberry reg­u­larly blogs at Marathon Pun­dit.

Lake Shore Drive blocked by police

By John Ruberry

For the second time in less than a month, left-wing protesters illegally blocked a major Chicago expressway, with the goal of bringing attention to gun violence in America’s third-largest city.

You know what? People in Chicago and its suburbs already know about the homicide epidemic. As do most people nationwide. Last year Chicago, as it did in 2016, suffered more murders than the far-more populous cities of New York And Loa Angeles–combined.

On the flipside, according to Hey Jackass, murders and shootings are down in 2018 compared to last year.

Zero murders should be the goal of any society, although, given human nature, it’s not even a remotely realistic one. But Chicago can do much better.

I covered the most recent lawbreaking protest, the Thursday afternoon rush hour blocking of Lake Shore Drive on Chicago’s North Side for my blog, Marathon Pundit. You can read my report here. You’ll learn that the rally was really a collection of  a baker’s dozen of leftist grievances.

What was that I said about illegal protests? Has fascism, as the leftists claim, conquered America under President Donald Trump? What happened to the First Amendment of the US Constitution?

Nothing has happened to the First Amendment.

Let’s see what that right-wing group (just kdding), the ACLU of Illinois, has to say about street-blocking protests:

Protesters blocking traffic on Belmont Avenue last week

In some cases, government can require a permit as a condition of protest on public property. For example, government often can require a permit for parades in the streets, given the impact on vehicle traffic.

More…

Protesters do not  have [emphasis mine] a First Amendment right to block pedestrian or vehicle traffic, or to prevent entry and exit from buildings.

Father Michael Pfleger, the gadfly left-wing Chicago priest, did not possess a rally permit when he and his followers blocked the 14-lane Dan Ryan Expressway last month on a Saturday afternoon on the South Side. Should’ve he been arrested? That’s a tough call, as the Illinois State Police, which has jurisdiction on this interstate, allowed Pfleger’s group to block the Dan Ryan.

So here we have cops, with the acquiescence of Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican by the way, consenting to law breaking. Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, expressed support for the protest.

At the block-Lake Shore Drive rally,, according to the Chicago Police, who has jurisdiction on that road, that event saw 150 protesters block eight lanes of traffic, ruining the commutes of thousands. Tio Hardiman and Gregory Livingston, the organizers of last week’s protest, carefully chose the day of their disruption. A few miles south of Belmont Avenue, where the rally began, the first day of the Lollapolooza festival was underway. And about a mile away the Chicago Cubs were hosting the San Diego Padres for a night game.  While they chose their day well, Hardiman and Livingston didn’t have a rally permit either. I guess they were so busy rabble-rousing that they simply forgot to apply for one.

Protest co-organizer Hardiman: “Where is your rally permit?”

Let’s take a closer look at those protest numbers. We know there were just 150 activists blocking Lake Shore Drive. Keeping an eye on the marchers were anywhere from 300-400 police officers. Also along for the hike, which ended at Wrigley Field, were 100 media representatives and bloggers, including  of course this one.

What about the cost?

The state spent $323,000 on the Dan Ryan protest. Municipal figures haven’t been released yet but it’s a safe guess that when those Chicago numbers are tallied, the cost of Pfleger’s protest will soar past a half-million dollars.

And when the Lake Shore Drive figures are added, will the costs of the two illegal rallies exceed $1 million? My prediction is they will.

If these protests were held instead downtown at a traditional and easy to patrol location, such as Daley Plaza, the taxpayer outlay would have been a pittance. And the plaza can handle many more than 150 people. Activists can enjoy their First Amendment rights there with minimal hassles for the rest of Chicago. And since all protesters seek media attention, nearly all of Chicago’s press and broadcast outlets have offices within walking distance of Daley Plaza. Everyone wins.

When unfunded pension debt is figured in, Illinois and Chicago are essentially broke. Chicago and Illinois are suffering from negative population growth.. And if such banana republic type protests continue to run amok, more people will throw up their hands and join the exodus.

There is another possibility.

Leftists fondly look back the 1960s protests at University of California at Berkeley as the good old days. But Ronald Reagan trounced an incumbent Democratic governor in 1966 by among other things, vowing to clean up “the mess” at Berkeley. However, California was right-leaning five decades ago.

At some point Chicagoans, will scream, “Enough!”

Especially if these expressway protestpaloozas become monthly occurrences.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

These illegal protests need to end. The police need to enforce the law. And that means arresting and prosecuting the organizers of these exercises in lawbreaking.

We are still a nation of laws.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.