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Cubs tell fans to expect safe entrance and exit at Wrigley amidst march Thursday

Tio Hardiman (from left), Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston and Eric Russell spoke outside Wrigley Field last week, detailing plans of a proposed march along Lake Shore Drive on Thursday. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times

Tio Hardiman (from left), Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston and Eric Russell spoke outside Wrigley Field last week, detailing plans of a proposed march along Lake Shore Drive on Thursday. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times

The Chicago Cubs are telling fans they’re planning on a ball game as usual on Thursday amidst a planned demonstration set to culminate outside Wrigley Field.

The Rev. Gregory Livingston, who’s spearheading the activists behind the demonstration, plans to lead a protest march up Lake Shore Drive on Aug. 2, eventually ending up outside Wrigley just as the Cubs get ready for a night game against the San Diego Padres.

The protesters plan to gather at 4 p.m. in the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive near Diversey and march north to Belmont, where they will exit the Drive and continue on to Wrigley Field.

As for whether protesters plan to try to enter the ballpark, Livingston has said: “You’ll have to wait and see.”

Cubs spokesperson Julian Green said the organization is working with Chicago Police to ensure fans attending Thursday’s game have a safe entrance and exit from Wrigley, but that they should avoid Lake Shore Drive.

Green added that security will be increased both inside and outside Wrigley that day.

As for entering the ballpark, Green wrote in an email that the Cubs “hope this demonstration will start and end without disruption and allow the participants an opportunity to voice their concerns.” But they also hope to “start and end our baseball game without disruption and allow our fans their opportunity to enjoy a day at the ballpark.”

Livingston has said he expects arrests to occur and that he and his supporters are willing to be jailed for their cause.

Their cause? Similar to the Rev. Michael Pfleger’s Dan Ryan shutdown in early July, Livingston’s march also focuses on bringing awareness to rampant violence on the South and West sides.

Where it differs from Pfleger’s, though, is that Livingston has called for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign, and the march’s location is intended to — as activist and former gubernatorial candidate Tio Hardiman has said — “redistribute the pain” of city violence to residents of the more affluent North Side.

Pfleger’s protest was on the South Side, where the violence is mostly concentrated.