Protesters march against police on South Side

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Protesters make their way north on Halsted Street from 51st during a march Tuesday night, May 15, 2012. | TOM CRUZE~Sun-Times

Police in riot gear lined a South Side police station Tuesday night when at least 100 protesters – many in the city for the NATO Summit – chanted anti-police sentiments and disobeyed police orders.

The protesters ­– many dressed in all black with black bandannas covering their faces – had marched about three miles to protest alleged global police oppression. The group started about 6:40 p.m. at Halsted and 50th Place and marched to the Deering District police station AT 32nd and Halsted.

Many South Side residents left their porches to join the group.

“This is a solidarity march for people who have been oppressed for years by the police,” said a 21-year-old Florida man who asked not to be identified.

He wore a pin on his hat that read “Occupy Rahm” and carried a flag representing the Anonymous movement.

By 8 p.m., the protesters stood outside the police station chanting, “What did they say in ’68? A billy club to the f – – – – – – head!”

Chicago Police officers in riot gear and on bicycles lined the outside of the station.

An older man from the neighborhood got into a scuffle with one of the protesters and suffered an apparent cut in his head. He was taken inside the station.

Another resident, 23-year-old Ray Jackson, yelled at a protester that the march was a waste of police resources.

The protester yelled back, “You fund NATO. You fund murder.”

The protesters left the police station by 8:30 p.m. and continued north on Halsted.

On their way to the police station, the protesters chanted, “From Chicago to Greece, f – – – the police” and disobeyed bicycle officers who ordered them to stay on the sidewalk. Many residents joined the march or applauded in agreement.

“I’m glad they got a march because the police are crazy out here,” said area resident Andre Gholston, 46. “They come out here roughing us up . . . sending innocent people to jail.”

At one point, one man started taunting the protesters by chanting “Free Jon Burge,” a

reference to the former Chicago Police commander convicted of torturing

suspects for confessions.

The protest ended around 9:30 p.m. at Taylor and Halsted. Police reported no arrests.

The CTA rerouted Halsted Street buses near 35th Street.

Contributing: Michael Lansu

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