Protesters ring in 2016 remembering tragedies, demanding Rahm's resignation...

While $150 tickets were needed to attend Chicago�s first ever �Star Rising," it didn�t hold back dozens of ticketless protesters from shutting down the Hyatt Hotel on Chicago's Gold Coast on New Year's Eve. Around 3:15 p.m. protesters ended their day-long event by storming a Hyatt entrance and shouting �Hey Hey Ho Ho Rahm Emanuel has Got to Go.�

Dozens protest Rahm Emanuel and demand his resignation at City Hall on Dec. 31, 2015. Photo by Rousemary Vega.Throughout the day, the words �We are family, we are united!� and "Whose city, our city!� could be continuously heard. Chicagoans: parents, students, adults, newborns were all in attendance with one goal in mind �- having Mayor Emanuel resign. Dozens had gathered in the lobby of City Hall on Dec. 31, 2015, in the third �Citywide Walkout� of recent weeks. After opening remarks by event organizers, the roughly 60 attendees staged a �die-in.� This was no ordinary die-in, for while protesters counted up from one to sixteen (the number of shots Laquan McDonald was shot), protesters slowly rose, eventually breaking out in a unified chant of �16 shots.�

Similar chants continued as protesters made their way up the fifth floor of City Hall; one elevator trip at a time. As the crowd grew to 100, so did the emotions of the protesters. You heard cries of happiness as a group ripped apart a pi�ata with Rahm�s face plastered on it, then cries of tears coming from a mothers remembering the loss of their relatives. While there were many onlooker who may have been overwhelmed by the abundance of emotion and adrenaline, organizer Rousemary Vega screamed, �Let us be next to our brothers and sisters.�

This was after media cameras unintentionally separated protesters into two groups. All press personnel was then asked to move to the back so that protesters could be with one another.

Organizers of city-wide walk outs include Ja'Mal Green (second from left), Rousemary Vega (center) and Rachel Brown (second from right), pictured at a protest in front of Rahm Emanuel's house on Dec. 29, 2015. Photo courtesy Rousemary Vega.As we made our way to the back, there stood mothers and fathers all caring for their young children and even some newborns. Siobhan Moffitt said she brought her sons to the event because she believes that it is �important for them to see and learn about the injustices going on in the city�� Living in Chicago�s Rogers Park, Moffitt explained how the exposure to the injustices isn't as prevalent as the ones going on in other parts of the city. Her young son could be seen taking part in the chanting, for the words �whose city, our (my) city� came from his mouth.

As the New Year rings in, it is important that the tragedies are humbly remembered just as much as the joyous ones. For as a city that is currently seeking drastic change amongst numerous departments, the understanding and conversations that must take place this coming year can and will be difficult.

One of many memes created by Whitney Young graduate Rachel Brown.The �Citywide Walkout 3: Rahm Doesn�t Resign by New Year�s, We�re Canceling 2016� was organized by Whitney Young graduate Rachel Brown and long time parent leader Rousemary Vega. While Brown had said that initiated had the initial walkout as a �joke� from her dorm room in New York, to known activists such as Vega, it �hit home.� Brown currently attends New York University. These �walkouts� were sparked out of frustration of Mayor Emanuel�s handling of the Laquan McDonald case. According to event organizers, �Emanuel is clearly not serious about reforming his office and the Chicago Police Department and the apartheid system of justice that results in the disproportionate death, torture and abuse of citizens of color.�



January 1, 2016 at 6:42 PM

By: Therese Quinn


Such a great article and strong coverage of the #ResignRahm organizing and actions. I'm so appreciative of the writer and the great photos by Rousemary Vega, and of course, Rachel Brown is awesome. Thank you all.

Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

2 + 3 =