Yahoo! News Photo Staff

Activists block major freeway to protest gun violence in Chicago

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Thousands of protesters calling for an end to gun violence in Chicago partially shut down a major freeway in the city on Saturday, restricting traffic as they demanded lawmakers and members of the community do more to stop the bloodshed.

Initially, demonstrators marched along two of the freeway’s four northbound lanes watched by lines of police. Some carried crosses and others banged drums as they marched, chanting slogans including “Black Lives Matter!” Later, the protesters blocked traffic on all four lanes.

Illinois State Police said agreement was reached with organizers of the protest to allow the demonstrators restricted access to Interstate 94, known as the Dan Ryan Expressway, “to march peacefully for their cause.”

By mid-afternoon there were no arrests, police said.

Chicago leaders have long struggled to bring down its high murder rate. Even though homicides fell 16 percent last year, the third largest U.S. city still ranked No. 1 in murders, with more than the combined total for New York and Los Angeles, the two largest cities. (Reuters)

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Father Michael Pfleger (2nd left) and Reverend Jesse Jackson (2nd right) walk with Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson during an anti-violence protest, which shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago, Ill., July 7, 2018. (Photo: Jim Young/AFP/Getty Images)


Thousands of activists march onto Chicago Dan Ryan Expressway to protest violence in the city on July 7, 2018 in Chicago, Ill. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)


An activist holds a sign during march along Chicago Dan Ryan Expressway to protest violence in the city on July 7, 2018 in Chicago, Ill. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)


Thousands of activists march onto Chicago Dan Ryan Expressway to protest violence in the city on July 7, 2018 in Chicago, Ill. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)


An activists holds a sign as she march onto Chicago Dan Ryan Expressway to protest violence in the city on July 7, 2018 in Chicago, Ill. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)


Thousands of activists march onto Chicago Dan Ryan Expressway to protest violence in the city on July 7, 2018 in Chicago, Ill. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)


Lavonne Green, left, yells “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” as protestors walk on the Dan Ryan Expressway, Saturday, July 7, 2018, in Chicago, Ill. (Photo: Annie Rice/AP)


Father Michael Pfleger (bottom center left) and Reverend Jesse Jackson (bottom center right) walk with Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson during an anti-violence protest shutting down the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago, Ill., July 7, 2018. (Photo: Jim Young/AFP/Getty Images)


Activists hold signs as they march onto Chicago Dan Ryan Expressway to protest violence in the city on July 7, 2018 in Chicago, Ill. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)


Thousands of activists march onto Chicago Dan Ryan Expressway to protest violence in the city on July 7, 2018 in Chicago, Ill. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)


Chicago Police and Illinois State Police officers monitor the scene during activists march onto Chicago Dan Ryan Expressway to protest violence in the city on July 7, 2018 in Chicago, Ill. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)


Thousands of activists march onto Chicago Dan Ryan Expressway to protest violence in the city on July 7, 2018 in Chicago, Ill. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)


Protestors shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway during an anti-violence protest calling for common sense gun laws in Chicago, Ill., July 7, 2018. (Photo: Jim Young/AFP/Getty Images)


A young activists holds a sign as he march onto Chicago Dan Ryan Expressway to protest violence in the city on July 7, 2018 in Chicago, Ill. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)


Chicago Police officers monitor the scene as activists march onto Chicago Dan Ryan Expressway to protest violence in the city on July 7, 2018 in Chicago, Ill. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)


Thousands of activists march onto Chicago Dan Ryan Expressway to protest violence in the city on July 7, 2018 in Chicago, Ill. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)


Thousands of activists march onto Chicago Dan Ryan Expressway to protest violence in the city on July 7, 2018 in Chicago, Ill. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)