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Activist pastor plans anti-violence protest that will block roads to Chicago's O'Hare on Labor Day

An activist pastor plans to block the roads to Chicago's O'Hare airport on Labor Day to raise awareness for the movement's anti-violence presence. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston, an activist pastor in the Chicago area, is planning a demonstration on Labor Day (Sept. 3) to block off the roads to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

What are the details?

According to WBBM-TV, Livingston — who helped to organize an anti-violence march at Lake Shore Drive on Aug. 2 — plans to amp up the movement's anti-violence presence by blocking off the roads to one of the most heavily trafficked airports in the U.S.

The demonstration would prevent traffic from coming in and out of the airport.

Livingston demands that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) resign over the city's out-of-control violence. He also wants Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to resign over the conditions and is calling for more money to be funneled into the city's more vulnerable areas — specifically the west and south sides of Chicago.

Livingston's first protest included about 150 marchers at Lake Shore Drive. They later marched to Wrigley Field. The weekend following the Aug. 2 demonstration was the deadliest weekend of the year for the city, with nearly 66 people shot and at least 12 dead.

What did Livingston say about the mayor?

In a statement, Livingston said, "Mayor Rahm Emanuel has publicly confessed his befuddlement at reducing this violence by talking about community values when the stark and tragic truth of the matter is that it is his values that are actually fueling this continued mayhem."

Such "values," according to Livingston, include Emanuel's decision to close at least 50 public schools and a motion to phase out health benefits for retired city workers.

“Rahm’s Values rain down millions of dollars on his developer cronies like a man making it rain down dollar bills on a stripper at a strip club," Livingston added. "Rahm’s Values brag about taking health care benefits from retirees. I could go on and on: murder cover-ups, school children scarred by sex scandals and to add insult to injury he appoints school superintendents who are as proficient as he is at the art of cover-up.”

Livingston added that the demands are not unreasonable — so long as Emanuel stops "focusing only on downtown and the elite" — and would like a personal meeting with Emanuel to discuss solutions to violent crime within the city.

What did the mayor say?

In a statement, a spokesperson for Emanuel's office said that the protest would only disrupt the lives of people who work at the airport and live in the surrounding neighborhoods — specifically those who Livingston wants to help.

One last thing…
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