Group rallies in Grant Park to demand that Illinois reopen

Chicago News

CHICAGO — A group of protesters gathered downtown on Memorial Day to voice their concerns over the on-going Illinois stay-at-home orders.

Demonstrators gathered at Grant Park Monday because they think the shutdowns have gone on long enough and want the state to reopen.

The group gathered at the lakefront and came waving flags and carrying signs. They said their purpose was to honor the fallen on Memorial Day. But they were also protesting what they think is the unconstitutional lock down across America by certain politicians on a day that honors 1.4 million servicemen and women who died in defense of the country.

In a statement to WGN, Clay Clark with the group Thrive Time, said they were seeking to free fellow Americans from what it considers to be oppression.

In response to the protest, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said while she respects the group’s first amendment rights, the gathering was a health risk.

The Chicago Police Department issued the following statement:

“The Chicago Police Department has extensive training and experience in facilitating the peaceful expression of First Amendment activity.

While we worked to ensure the First Amendment rights of those participating in today’s march, the organizers and participants were not practicing social distancing or abiding by the publish health guidelines outlined in the stay-at-home order. Therefore, for the health and safety of all residents involved in the rally, the Chicago Police Department issued a dispersal of the crowd and ordered the organizers to shutdown the event.”

Illinois is set to enter Phase 3 of Gov. JB Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan on Friday.

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