A group of Marxist revolutionaries descended on Millennium Park Saturday evening in the Loop to burn American flags in protest of the recent acquittal of the Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop last year.
Jeronimo Yanez, a former St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer, pulled over Castile on July 6, 2016. During the stop, Castile told Yanez he had a gun in his pants and a license to carry, but when he reached for his ID, Yanez opened fire, striking him multiple times.
Yanez was charged on November 16, 2016 with one count of second degree manslaughter and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm, all felonies. He was acquitted Friday on all counts.
The Revolution Club Chicago, a group with ties to the Revolutionary Communist Party, organized a demonstration downtown Saturday to protest the acquittal, and push for Marxist upheaval. About 6 p.m., a group of about 20 members of the group met at the corner of State and Jackson, condemning Yanez’s actions.
“A revolutionary society could do way better than that on this problem,” said Carl Dix, a representative for the Revolutionary Communist Party. “Because we would recruit, hire and train people to deal with public security who would know that their job was to put their lives on the line to see to it that the society was safe.”
“Our police force, if you wanna call it that, would sooner risk its own life than kill or injure an innocent person,” Dix added. “In this society, it’s the other way around.”
Group members also tied Yanez’s acquittal to systemic failures in the country, criticizing President Donald Trump’s agenda, which they called divisive, and arguing that “America was never great.”
The group then marched to Millenium Park and set a handful of American flags aflame as pedestrians and tourists looked on. The group claimed the flag stands as a symbol of oppression and white supremacy.
Two veterans were particularly disturbed by the demonstration. One of the men vocally objected to the protest, demanding respect for the flag and voicing support for President Trump.