By Mark Weyermuller -
There was one final protest march on New Years' Eve of 2016 in Chicago. About 500 people carried 793 wooden crosses with the names of people murdered this year in Chicago. It was called a "peace march" but technically it was not a protest. There was a heavy police presence, but the march was quiet and peaceful with no arrests, although it did disrupt the shopping district's traffic.
The march was organized by Father Michael Pfleger of Saint Sabina Church and Reverend Jesse Jackson of Rainbow PUSH on Michigan Avenue last Saturday. Many of the 30 pound crosses were carried by friends or relatives of the victims, and others were carried by complete strangers.
One such person was my friend Stephanie Trussell, who hosts a radio show Sunday nights on WLS 890-AM. She traveled in from the suburbs to cover the story but ended carrying a cross on the two-mile march. As the crosses were taken out of the trucks near the Tribune Tower, they announced there were not enough people to carry all the crosses. Stephanie, like many others, stepped up to honor these victims. Another group shown below traveled in from Holy Family Parish from Inverness located in Lake County.
The crosses were built by Aurora resident Greg Zanis who gave the crosses to the friends and relatives at the end of the march. Earlier this year, Zanis took 49 crosses to Orlando, Florida to honor the 49 victims murdered at the Pulse nightclub which many consider a terrorist attack.
There was at least one pro-life group marching and carrying crosses. As a side note, there are no recorded numbers here of babies killed in abortion in Chicago, which may be in the thousands. That is yet another major topic of debate and discussion. It is interesting too that people embraced carrying a cross for the victims , a symbol of Jesus and Christianity. There is a March for Life on Sunday, January 15, 2016 at 2:00p.m. in downtown Chicago.
The final number of homicides is 762 with the 793 including deaths involving child abuse. Most of the murders involved guns yet there were a number of stabbing along with several beatings. They are also reporting that this is a 57% increase over last year. In addition, there are reports of over 3100 shootings in Chicago in 2016. There were 11 people killed by Chicago Police and it's unclear if any of those are reflected in these totals. Another troubling detail is well over half of these cases remain unsolved.
There is much discussion of the causes and solutions to lower this tragedy in Chicago. Many blame guns or the term "gun violence." I personally don't like that term as many believe the old adage, "Guns don't kill people, people do." Others blame gangs and drugs.
I blame the breakdown of the family along with poor public policy. In addition, I blame the "Ferguson Effect" which has hampered police being able to do their jobs. A solution many are discussing is the controversial tactic of "Stop and Frisk." Others talk about longer jail sentences while some want more money spent on social programs.
Chicago has a declining population which includes 14,000 less kids in Chicago Public Schools compared to last year. Bottom line is people are leaving Chicago. For this, I blame high crime, poor schools, high taxes (property & sales tax), over regulation, lack of jobs, and government corruption. My main blame is these murderers which have no respect or value for human life.
For me the march was inspiring, moving, sad, disturbing and chilling. I hope and pray that we find some solutions to this terrible violence with a new year here in 2017.
Mark Weyermuller is a small business person, real estate professional, and conservative activist in Chicago. He is a citizen journalist and regular contributor to Illinois Review. Mark can be heard weekly on the radio in a "man on the street segment" at 10:31pm as a regular guest on the Stephanie Trussell Show heard Sunday nights 9pm-midnight on WLS 890-AM.
do not like flagger or jackson both are media hounds doing what they do only to get their mugs in tv oir in the news papers they are both phony and need to be out out into the desert and rot flagger is a disgrace to the catholic church h is IDSOBEDIENCE is a mortAL SIN IN HIS SOUL AND A HERTICAL ACTION IN THE CHURCH HE NEEDS TO BE LAIZED NOW!! CARDINAL GEORGE SHOULD HAVE DONE IT AND NOT BACKED DOWN ON THISS DISOBEDIENCE OF HIS HE CAN NOT DO THE LORDS WORK WHEN HE DOES WHAT HE WANTS AND NOT WHAT IS GIVEN TO HIM BY HIS SUPERIORS DISOBEDIENCE IS FROM THE DEVIL
Closing mental health facilities in poor neighborhoods did not help! According to Sheriff Dart, too many with mental illnesses are in the prison system because that is where their medical needs are met.
When 50 Public Schools were closed in poor neighborhoods….it sent a powerful message to the people there…they do not matter.
They actually need to close more schools. This year CPS has 14,000 less students compared to last year as chicago continues major declines in population. CPS has become a bloated mismanaged system with a focus on the dmployees, vendors,and contractors rather then the tax payers, residents, parents, and the kids
People are waking up and I expect changes including school choice and right to work.
It’s unclear how many of the murders where from people who may be torrented on mental health issues. It appears most are committed by just plain old criminals.
Who raises those uncivilized murderers to not5 value human life?
Father Pfleger is becoming more and more of a social justice warrior. Is he doing it for his ego or for his flock?