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#OhareShutdown: Eyes on Chicago as Activists Vow to Block Major Airport on Labor Day

Resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel among demands of those who say they are determined to bring attention to city's woes

After heading down the Kennedy to River Road, the Labor Day protesters may try to cross the median and block both eastbound and westbound lanes of the expressway near O’Hare International Airport. (Image: Google Streetview/ via Chicago Sun Times)

Led by Reverand Gregory Livingston, community activists in Chicago on Monday are vowing to shut down access roads leading to the O'Hare International Airport, one of the largest and busiest travel hubs in the United States, in order to draw attention to the city's struggle with gun violence, racial segregation, economic inequality, government neglect, and the pervasive mismanagement—particularly of the public schools—by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Occurring on Labor Day, if the protesters are successful in shutting down or significantly curbing access to the airport, it could have major implications for travellers nationwide.

"What we're trying to do is end the tale of two cities in Chicago," Livingston said on Monday. "We think that so much of this violence is generated by Chicago's legacy of segregation."

On social media, the hashtag #OhareShutdown was being used.

Rev. Livingston also spoke with reporters near the airport on Monday morning:


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According to the Chicago Sun-Times, "Police have said — and repeated Monday — that no protesters would be allowed onto the Kennedy. And they appeared ready to back that up. As Livingston spoke, dozens of police officers were standing across the intersection, in a restaurant parking lot."

In addition to law enforcement, city resources were brought out Monday to stifle any attempt to block the roadways:

While it remained unclear as of this writing how large the attendance might be at Monday's protest, Livingston said the disruption is a tactic towards achieving the goals of the community he represents.

"Disrupting business from O’Hare that comes from a busy holiday will force them to pressure the mayor to listen to our demands," Livingston has said.

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