Even if their outrage and bickering takes place Monday evening.
YES, THERE ARE people upset that Mayor Rahm Emanuel didn’t make a total fool of himself and probably handled a tricky political situation about as well as he could.
Meanwhile, Gov. Bruce Rauner – the man who technically had jurisdiction over the issue and should have been the one who made a final decision on what should be done – turned out to be fairly irrelevant to the happenings of the weekend.
For those who already are trying to forget (personally, I didn’t have to venture into downtown, so I didn’t have reason to drive along the Dan Ryan), Illinois State Police initially tried to reduce northbound traffic from 79th Street to 67th Street (the place where the protest took place) to two lanes of traffic.
That would have given space for the marching protesters expressing their contempt over the way municipal officials are all too eager to ignore the problems of violent crime because it runs rampant only in certain parts of the city.
BECAUSE THE DAN Ryan Expressway (and other interstate highways in Illinois) fall under the jurisdiction of the Illinois State Police, they were the law enforcement entity that would have had to make the arrest of the nearly 1,000 people who insisted on marching onto the interstate pavement.
Usually an act that would be suicidal because of the speeding traffic headed into and out of downtown Chicago along the Dan Ryan.
But when it became blatantly obvious that reducing the Dan Ryan to a two-lane road in northbound traffic was still too hazardous a condition for the protesters, that is when the state police, with support from the Chicago Police Department, cut off access for just enough time for the protest to take place.
By afternoon Saturday, the traffic patterns were restored.
NEWS REPORTS INDICATE that it was Emanuel who made the call to his police, who then passed along word to the state police counterparts – where state police Director Leo P. Schmitz made the call purely based on public safety. Failing to consult with the governor, who might have had his own political circumstances to take into account.
For the record, no one was arrested. Nor was anyone injured by a passing motorist.
Which I don’t doubt a few sick-and-twisted individuals would have loved to see occur. They probably would have wanted a protester or two maimed. They’d probably say those people got what they deserved.
Since it didn’t work out that way, they’re going to shout and scream and bicker and whine and piss and moan as much as they can – hoping desperately somebody will take them seriously now, even though no one has done so up to this point in time.
CHICAGO REPUBLICAN mayoral and gubernatorial dreamer William J. Kelly says he’s now on board with former Gov. Pat Quinn’s attempt to create a term limits measure that would prevent Emanuel from being able to run for another term as mayor. How dare the mayor not treat protesters like some sort of nuisance to be swatted away at will!?!
“If Rahm Emanuel can shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway, we can shut down Rahm,” Kelly said in advance of the press conference and political rally he plans to have Monday night in suburban Merrionette Park.
That is a municipality adjacent to the Mount Greenwood neighborhood – a part of Chicago where the Age of Trump is viewed favorably and where there have been past protests essentially about whether black people ought to exist anywhere in their proximity.
Because maybe what really bothers these Emanuel critics is that they were forced to acknowledge an issue of urban violence that they usually prefer to think of as merely a fact of Chicago life – and not something they should actually do something to try to reduce.