Black Lives Matter, joined by other Chicago community activists, protested Chicago’s rising violence outside the mayor’s house Wednesday night.
Approximately fifty people rallied outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house to demand a solution to Chicago’s skyrocketing homicide rates, reports the Chicago Tribune.
“I am broken. Words cannot describe my pain,” Camiella Williams, a 29-year-old speaker at the event, said. She went on to say that she had lost many family members to the city’s violence.
Protesters started at the American Indian Center; at the front of the auditorium’s stage lay three black coffins. They also displayed a slideshow with the names of over 700 homicide victims.
Black Lives Matter Chicago activist Kofi Ademola Xola joined the rally to demand police accountability, affordable housing and the creation of mental health clinics.
“This is genocide being committed against us. Making sure we don’t have jobs, education, mental health care, that is to show that we are being colonized. We are still fighting for our lives,” Xola said.
Protesters laid down the black coffins in the snow in front of the mayor’s house.
Chicago’s gun violence skyrocketed in 2016. The city’s homicide rate reached over 700, something not seen in almost twenty years. January alone had 51 homicides and 272 gunshot victims.
Eddie Johnson, the Chicago Police superintendent, discussed how residents were becoming more frustrated with Chicago’s violence.
“Every week, I go into these communities, people ask me or beg me, ‘Superintendent, do something about this violence,’” Johnson said. “Everywhere I go, people ask how can we reduce the violence in Chicago.”