|Activists want to ruin postcard-perfect image of O'Hare -- for a day|
THE ACTIVISTS SAY they want to make it difficult for motorists to drive to O’Hare on Monday, which is Labor Day (a holiday weekend with a significant boost in travel traffic). They hope that such an act will offend the sensibilities of people whose economic well-being relies upon the airport that they will then pressure Mayor Rahm Emanuel to do something to address the problem of urban violence within parts of Chicago.
There may be some people who have that reaction. Although I also wouldn’t doubt there will be many others whose reaction will be to order Emanuel about to have the Chicago police do an encore, of sorts, of their behavior during the 1968 Democratic Convention protests.
What with all the attention the activity of 50 years ago has received in recent weeks, I wouldn’t doubt the idea would crop up into at least a few heads.
I do find it interesting that these activists at least have the sense not to try to interfere with airport operations proper. That, after all, would constitute a federal offense. Which would mean the federal courts and prosecutors getting involved.
|Could this be O'Hare's easiest access on Monday?|
So what should we think of the activity, where protesters say they’re going to gather around Noon to try to interfere with traffic using the Kennedy Expressway westbound from Cumberland Avenue to East River Road.
Which is the path that takes motorists into the airport grounds.
|Is offending these peoples' sensibilities the goal of Monday activity?|
REGARDLESS, IT WILL be interesting to see just how law enforcement behaves on Monday – a day that I’m sure they will wish they could focus on the usual inanity that tends to take place during holiday travel weekends.
Because they’re going to venture onto the Kennedy, this becomes an Illinois State Police matter – rather than one for the Chicago Police Department to address. Just think if they ventured a little farther west onto airport property and all of a sudden it became an issue for the FAA, the FBI and any other federal agency that could be dragged into the alphabet soup.
It would be a jurisdictional nightmare.
Although I couldn’t help but notice reports in recent weeks urging people who have to travel to O’Hare on Monday to consider using the Chicago Transit Authority to get there.
SPECIFICALLY, THE BLUE Line trains that run from downtown through the Northwest Side and wind up all the way at the airport.
|Or is it all about embarrassing Rahm?|
In theory, you can ride your train in to the airport, and wave bye-bye to all the protesters who think they’re causing chaos and bringing our society to a shutdown. I suppose activists could try blocking train tracks, but that would be insane on account of the legendary “third rail” (the electrified one that feeds power to the rail cars).
I’d hate to think there are people determined to die for this cause, which is supposed to be about reducing the level of people who are killed in Chicago.
Because they’d learn pretty quick just how apathetic many Chicagoans can be about this particular issue, which really reeks of a strong overtone of “It’s not my problem” for those who don’t live in the neighborhoods where the violence tends to focus upon.