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Revolution Club, advocates for police reform march downtown on 2-week anniversary of massive George Floyd protest

A crowd of revolutionary communists and people calling for police reform that wound through the city’s downtown Saturday was far smaller than a May 30 march to protest the killing of George Floyd that ended in mayhem.

Members of Revolution Club Chicago lead a march Saturday along Michigan Avenue.
Members of Revolution Club Chicago lead a march Saturday along Michigan Avenue.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

A march led by Revolution Club Chicago wove through the streets of downtown Chicago for several hours Saturday and blocked traffic on Lake Shore Drive for about 20 minutes.

At least one protestor was taken into police custody during a skirmish between protesters and police on Monroe Street, but the march was otherwise peaceful.

Revolution Club Chicago, which describes itself as a communist organization dedicated to resisting oppression, organized the march in response to outrage over the death of George Floyd at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer last month, as well as to prepare for what they foresee as an impending international revolution.

“We’re talking about a global revolution, not just overthrowing the United States,” Revolution Club member John Packard said. “But we have to do that because the United States is controlling everybody else.”

Hundreds of protesters march Saturday along State Street.
Hundreds of protesters march Saturday along State Street.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Packard also voiced concerns about President Donald Trump refusing to leave office if he is voted out in November and what he believes is a brewing civil war in the country.

Speeches outside the still-closed Millennium Park entrance on Michigan Avenue focused on criticism of Trump’s presidency and accusations of the country’s connection to international atrocities.

Marchers walked to Wacker Drive and Wabash Avenue, where they were blocked by police from crossing the river to Trump Tower, before turning south on State Street and meandering to Lake Shore Drive, where the group briefly shut down traffic near Jackson Drive.

About 100 people were present at the start of the March, but as the crowd grew into the hundreds as additional people joined, chants turned to focus largely on issues of police reform and accountability.

Saturday marked the two-week anniversary of a massive protest on May 30 that devolved into theft and vandalism and led Mayor Lori Lightfoot to impose an overnight curfew for a week after stores were looted and police SUVs were set on fire.

Of the marchers, Packard said: “We’ve got diverse groups of people — white, black, Hispanic — a rainbow coalition of people out here saying, ‘Enough is enough.’”

“We’re tired of the police beating and killing us over simple [things],” he added.