Protest Continues in Chicago on Michigan’s Mag Mile
Shortly after the arrest a bazaar interaction between the leader of the protest and the police occurred. He began shaking hands with the officers who were lined up along the sidewalk to keep contain the demonstration to the sidewalk. He then challenged police to a staring contest, which could have been confrontational but turned out to be friendly and eased tension that could have escalated and instead brought laughter.
There four people arrested during Saturday’s protest, all for misdemeanors.
Mag Mile businesses feel protest impact
Friday’s protest over McDonald’s death did impact Michigan Avenue businesses in fact, several stores were forced to close hours early on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
It was back to business along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Saturday as retailers saw some Black Friday shoppers return a day after a protest march shut down North Michigan Avenue most of the day.
On Friday, demonstrators blocked the entrances to dozens of high-end stores to keep customers out, sometimes using force. A few stores simply locked their doors to avoid any incidents.
North Michigan Avenue merchants haven’t reported how the protests hurt their bottom line. However on the day touted as the biggest shopping day in America traditional retailers can generate up to 40 percent of their revenue for the year on Black Friday. This year the combination of bad weather, the popularity of online holiday shopping and the protestors kept shoppers away.
Organizers said Friday’s protest was aimed at disrupting Chicago’s busiest shopping day to draw more attention to the issue of police brutality. Reaction remained mixed among shoppers.
Many whites were not supportive of the effort thinking that the demonstrators could have handled it a different way.
Black Friday might not have been a complete wash for all retailers. A spokesperson for the Fashion Outlets of Chicago said their foot traffic is up 10 percent over last year, and that it was even busier on Saturday.