Black Chicago Activists Fly ‘Chicago Stands with Laquan, Hillary Stands with Rahm’ Banners Across Windy City’s Skyline


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Hillary Clinton supporter, has become so toxic that he has had to stay away from the Democratic front-runner while Bernie Sanders has run anti-Emanuel ads tying Clinton and the embattled mayor together. Mayor Emanuel has come under fire particularly for the police shooting of Laquan McDonald and the closing of many public schools. Now, black Chicago activists are flying banners on Super Tuesday that state “Chicago Stands with Laquan, Hillary Stands with Rahm#ByeAnita #ByeRahm” across the city’s skyline.


Assata’s Daughters, an activist group consisting of black women in Chicago sponsored the flyover, on the day that Chicagoans will be casting influential votes in the Illinois primary that has seen Bernie Sanders drastically close the gap in Hillary Clinton’s birth-state. There has been much speculation as to whether Clinton’s ties to Emanuel would ultimately benefit the anti-establishment Sanders.

Hillary stands with Rahm Emanuel

In a statement announcing the banner flyover, Tess Raser, an organizer for Assata’s Daughters demonstrated deep feelings of anger at Mayor Emanuel, Hillary Clinton and Illinois State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. Tess Raser condemned Chicago’s mayor as “anti-black” and Clinton and Alvarez as complicit in his actions, stating, “To this day, Hillary Clinton has yet to condemn Chicago’s anti-black mayor. Mayor Emanuel has conspired with State’s Attorney Alvarez during his own re-election campaign to cover up the police murder of Laquan McDonald —a life that to Emmanuel, Alvarez, and Clinton did not matter.  Any politician who supports Emanuel should consider themselves implicated in his misconduct. Anti-black politicians are not welcome in Chicago whether they are running for State’s Attorney or President of The United States.”

Black Chicago Activists Banner

Mayor Emanuel has seen his approval ratings plummet down to 27% as he has been accused of covering up a video showing Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shoot 17 year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in 13 seconds. Video of the shooting was captured by a police cruiser’s dash cam, but wasn’t released for 13 months after the shooting.

The shooting of McDonald occurred just four months before a Mayor Emanuel faced reelection, where he ultimately defeated Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who has appeared in a recent ad supporting the anti-establishment Bernie Sanders. Many feel that Mayor Emanuel’s reelection chances would have been harmed by the release of the video, so he decided to bury the video as much as possible.

Criminal justice reform has been a major political issue, in our society and during the Democratic presidential campaign. The shocking number of occurrences of police shootings has captured the nation’s attention and civil rights and civil liberties activists are demanding real change to address this serious issue.

After the polls close, it will be interesting to see how Hillary Clinton ultimately fares in the polls, particularly among Chicago’s black voters. Clinton has relied upon black support as one of the foundations of her candidacy, but that support has been tested by Senator Sanders and Chicago civil rights activists. Whether Chicago and Illinois residents #FeelTheBern, it is apparent that public support for Rahm Emanuel won’t return anytime soon.

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.