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Activists Chained Themselves Together To Block CPD's Notorious Homan Square

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jul 21, 2016 2:04PM

Activists on Wednesday night marched in North Lawndale and also blocked the entrance to the Chicago Police Department’s notorious Homan Square site.

The Homan Square building has been a source of controversy ever since the Guardian exposed the “off-the-books interrogation compound” in February of 2015. The profile documents claims that detainees were routinely kept from contacting family or legal representation.

The protest was organized by the Let Us Breathe Collective and Black Youth Project 100 to demand a transition in how tax dollars are allocated, namely an “investment into new alternatives to keep Black communities safe and a divestment from police and legislative systems that are violent towards Black communities,” according to a statement.

Activists used chains, tubes, bike locks and ladders to bind themselves together, blocking the entrance path. Other nearby protesters set up tents and a “Free Store” that offered provisions.

Witnesses reported police using bolt cutters to remove the bound activists. Black Lives Matter Chicago claimed 12 activists were arrested; and Let Us Breathe later said that all those arrested had been released. Police did not immediately have figures available as of Thursday morning.

Similar demonstrations—together dubbed #FreedomNow—took place in other parts of the country, including Detroit, New York City, Oakland and Washington DC. Activists blocked traffic outside the legislative office of the National Fraternal Order of Police in the nation's capital.