Protesters want Balbo Drive renamed, monument removed

CHICAGO – Protesters gathered Wednesday afternoon calling for the removal of the Balbo monument near the lakefront, and the renaming of Balbo Drive.

About 30 protesters took over the Lakefront Trail to protest the removal of the Balbo monument because they said it stands as a tribute to fascism.

The monument was a gift from Benito Mussolini, a fascist Italian dictator, in honor of a fascist and his transatlantic flight from Rome to Chicago.

Some members of the Italian community in Chicago said they want people to think about the statue in its proper historical context.

They said Italo Balbo denounced fascism later in his life and that the monument is an important part of Italian history in the city.