CHICAGO (CBS) — Another mass protest hit downtown Chicago streets Saturday night, and organizers reassured those gathering would be peaceful.
This comes only about two weeks after violent clashes with police around the now-taken-down Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park.
As CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reported, the gathering Saturday night was really catering to those in college. One onlooker issued a similar announcement on Facebook garnered only about a dozen people a week ago, but on Saturday night, hundreds showed up.
The large crowds caught some by surprise.
The gathering was bulled, amongst other things, as a rally by the Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park, or the Bean, to end contracts and relationships with Chicago Police, refuse to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and reinvest in mental health and health care resources.
Several Chicago Police officers were positioned nearby the gathering.
Those running the rally repeated to those in attendance not to engage with officers at the park or on the march.
That was an effort to avoid scenes like the one from around two weeks ago, in which protesters tried to drag the Columbus statue near the Museum Campus to the ground.
A total of 49 CPD officers were injured, 18 sent to the hospital, and 12 protesters arrested.
As a result, some described a new feeling or sensitivity for the assembly Saturday night, while others did not feel that kind of strain between police officers and protesters.
“There’s no tension in the crowd. The only people who exist in tension are the people who are there to start up trouble,” said Tynetta Muhammad Black of the Youth Project 100. “I have no concerns for agitators. If there are agitators, then we deal with them accordingly – the way we have to deal with them.”
There was one report of vandalism Saturday night, but no reports of any arrests or major issues associated with the protest and march, and organizers and police wanted it to remain that way.