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Crowds flock to Wacker Drive to protest Trump’s Chicago visit

With signs comparing him to Adolf Hitler, a piñata and chants calling for his removal from office, the group swelled to the point Chicago Police Department blocked all traffic between Michigan and Wabash avenues.

Well over 1,000 people flocked to Wacker Drive Monday afternoon — directly across the Chicago River from his namesake skyscraper — to protest President Donald Trump’s first visit to Chicago since he assumed the Oval Office.

With signs comparing him to Adolf Hitler, a piñata and chants calling for his removal from office, the group swelled to the point Chicago Police Department blocked all traffic between Michigan and Wabash avenues.

“He’s a draft dodging, tax dodging, science dodging, fact dodging, wife dodging, Russian puppet con man,” said Mary McDonald, who lives in the western suburbs.

Protesters assemble outside Trump Tower waiting for the arrival of the President Monday morning.
Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Time

McDonald said she’s “not a big protester,” but she’s “reached my limit.”

“This is, like, the minimum I can do,” she said. “I don’t understand why we’re not all out on the streets all the time.”

Anke Koning, of the South Loop, said she came to the protest “to let him know we’re not happy with him.”

Asked for her specific grievances against the president, Koning said: “Consorting with foreign nations is No. 1. It’s an endless litany thereafter.”

The president was in Chicago Monday to give a speech at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference at McCormick Place. Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said last week he was skipping the speech because “As police officers, our job is to be the voice for the voiceless and ambassadors to the communities that we serve. I can’t in good conscience stand by while racial insults and hatred are cast from the Oval Office, or Chicago is held hostage because of our views on New Americans.”

During Monday’s speech, the absentee Johnson was the subject of Trump’s ire.

”People like Johnson put criminals and illegal aliens before the citizens of Chicago and those are his values, and frankly those values, to me, are a disgrace,” Trump said.

Around noon, a brass band joined the group and played Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” and “The Imperial March” from “Star Wars.” Though the chanting was as prevalent as any of Chicago’s previous Trump protests, there appeared to be a lack of cohesion among different groups within the protests, as they often drowned each other out over their dueling speakers.

On the outskirts of the gathering, a small contingent of Trump supporters offered full-throated defenses of the president. A handful of anti-Trump protesters could be seen speaking with them — passionately but politely — and dissecting their differences of opinion.

Todd Ricketts, co-owner of the Cubs, hosted a fundraiser for Trump that was expected to raise $4 million. Several protesters took aim at the Ricketts family for their affiliation, with one man carrying around a sign that used the Cubs’ “C” logo to spell the word “CANCELLED.”

Protesters rally across the river from Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago on Monday, October 28, 2019.
Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Times
Protesters assemble outside Trump Tower waiting for the arrival of the President Monday morning.
Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Time
Protesters assemble outside Trump Tower waiting for the arrival of the President Monday morning.
Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Time
Protesters assemble outside Trump Tower waiting for the arrival of the President Monday morning.
Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Time
Protesters assemble outside Trump Tower waiting for the arrival of the President Monday morning.
Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Time

Protesters assemble outside Trump Tower waiting for the arrival of the President Monday morning.
Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Time
Protesters rally across the river from Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago on Monday, October 28, 2019.
Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Times
Protesters rally across the river from Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago on Monday, October 28, 2019.
Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Times
A heavy police presence near Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago on Monday, October 28, 2019.
Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Times
Protesters rally across the river from Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago on Monday, October 28, 2019.
Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Times
People watch as protesters rally across the river from Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago on Monday, October 28, 2019.
Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Times
Protesters marched through downtown Chicago in advance of President Donald Trump arriving to the building for a fundraiser on Monday, October 28, 2019.
Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Times
Protesters marched through downtown Chicago in advance of President Donald Trump arriving to the building for a fundraiser on Monday, October 28, 2019.
Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Times

Protesters blow whistles in front of the Trump Tower in downtown Chicago during President Donald Trump’s first visit to the city since he stepped into office.
Pat Nabong/For The Sun-Times
A protester screams in front of the Trump Tower in downtown Chicago during President Donald Trump’s first visit to the city since he stepped into office.
Pat Nabong/For The Sun-Times