Chicago activists call for national protest during Democratic National Convention

With the Democratic National Convention coming to Chicago next year, some activists are announcing their bid to protest.

Several groups are calling for a national protest in Chicago, hoping other groups from around the country will assemble here as well.

The DNC is set to happen in 16 months and organizers are preparing early to avoid any obstacles that could stand in the way of receiving permits.

In 2012, under then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel, protesters faced opposition when demonstrating at the NATO Summit.


This time, they want thousands to gather in Chicago to stand in solidarity for reproductive rights, immigrant rights and more.

They believe their permits will be granted because Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson was an organizer with the Chicago Teachers Union.

"Our new mayor comes out of protest movements, but nonetheless, we need to insist on our right to march not only in some parts of town but to the place where the convention-goers, the national leadership of the Democratic Party, can see us and hear us," said Joe Iosbaker, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

The coalition wants to rally and march near where the convention will be held.

"For too long, it has been assumed that Black people by default vote Democrat," said Amika Tendaji of Black Lives Matter-Chicago. "That party has not protected our young people from being shot by the police. It has not protected us from police brutality. It has not protected or prioritized the safety of Black women and girls. It has not protected or prioritized the safety of Black trans women — and so we will protest until we can get a party that will actually protect Black lives."

President Joe Biden called Gov. J.B. Pritzker last week to inform him Chicago was his pick to host the DNC next Aug. 19-22. The city’s first convention since 1996 is projected to draw 50,000 visitors.

Party leaders haven’t yet released many details on convention plans. Primetime events will be held at the United Center, with daytime business conducted at McCormick Place.

Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.