The Divest, Imagine, Invest march begins from the William McKinley memorial in McKinley Park on Saturday, August 15, 2020.

Divest, Imagine, Invest Protest Brings Police, Environmental Reform Message to McKinley Park

Published August 15, 2020

The Divest, Imagine, Invest event on Saturday, August 15, 2020, in Chicago's McKinley Park brought over 100 protesters, marchers and event organizers to advocate for reallocation of funds from the Chicago Police Department and a greater municipal focus on combating pollution and environmental racism.

Organized by the Sunrise Movement Chicago, the event was co-sponsored by the Southwest Environmental Alliance, McKinley Park Mutual Aid, the Grassroots Collaborative, the 12th Ward Independent Political Organization and Neighbors for Environmental Justice.

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Activities kicked off with a kids art event at the William McKinley memorial in the northwest side of McKinley Park, followed by speeches from protest and movement organizers. The succeeding march wound south from the memorial along Western Boulevard, then east along Pershing Road to conclude in the park space between northbound and southbound Damen Avenue at Pershing Road.

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Chicago Police Department officers in cruisers, on bikes and on foot were present at the events at the William McKinley memorial, and then paralleled marchers along their route. Marchers initially entered Western Boulevard to proceed southbound, but were redirected to the sidewalk by police. One march participant was detained by police, seemingly related to the street blockage. Otherwise, the event and march were peaceful throughout.

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