Three arrested at anti-white supremacy protest outside North Side courtroom



Protestors gather at a massive anti-Donald Trump rally at Trump Tower in Manhattan on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. (Jeffrey Basinger/Newsday/TNS)

Three people were arrested during an anti-white supremacy protest Tuesday outside a North Side criminal court building, according to police.

About two dozen protesters, many wearing bandanas or masks covering their faces, gathered near the doors of a Cook County courthouse at 2452 W. Belmont Ave., where they held banners condemning white supremacy and chanted “Neo-Nazis go away! Racist, sexist, anti-gay!”

Organizer Sam Zakon, 25, of Chicago, said the anti-facist groups had come to protest a criminal hearing for a man they said had ties to far-right, white supremacist organizations.


The man’s attorney said he knew of no such ties between his client and the groups. Chicago police have also not charged the man, who could not be reached, with any crimes tied to racism.

The man’s court hearing was moved up and held before the protest.

“It’s shameful to base your identity on hatred,” Zakon said at the rally. “We want to make sure these people know they are not wanted here in Chicago.”

After about 90 minutes, the protesters took to the streets, briefly blocking the intersection of Clybourn and Western Avenues. Police ordered the activists to return to the sidewalk, when an altercation between an officer and a masked protester broke out.

An attempt to arrest the man turned into a struggle between protesters, who hoped to free the man, and officers, who wrestled him away while shouting “Stop resisting!” An older man who was taken to the ground by officers during the tussle and also arrested.

Tensions bubbled up, again, when a confrontation broke out in front of an apparent TV van, which led to a third man taken to the ground by police.

Police eventually cleared the small group of demonstrators off the courthouse property and maintained a perimeter along its Western Avenue entrance. Some protesters complained that police were unnecessarily aggressive toward them.


As of Tuesday evening, police confirmed three protesters had been arrested and charges were pending.

The protest follows the recent racial demonstrations and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. drove a car into a crowd of people protesting white supremacy, killing one woman and injuring 19 others. Fields is charged with second-degree murder.