(Note to Readers: The following is an account of a real protest that just occurred. If Life in the Boomer Lane were running for the Republican presidential nomination, she would tell you that every single thing she wrote actually happened. If she were Donald Trump, she would add that she witnessed it all herself and that, if elected, she would build a wall around the protestors. But she isn’t running for office, and she occasionally does know the difference between fantasy and reality, and so she will admit that, aside from the actual protest, the CNN and Chicago Tribune quotes, and what the protesters wrote on their signs, the rest happened only within the confines of her fertile imagination. Although it could have happened, right? And, if any loyal reader wants to fund a Chicago fact-finding mission for her, LBL will come back and write about what she learned and make nothing up.)
Michigan Ave, the main thoroughfare of Chicago’s fabled shopping mecca, “Miracle Mile,” was the scene Friday of a major protest, led by Jesse Jackson. Protesters demanded the resignations of the city’s top leaders, alleging a yearlong cover-up of a police video depicting an officer’s killing of teenager Laquan McDonald. Protesters also demanded a federal investigation into the Chicago Police Department.
According to CNN, “Protesters locked arms outside the doors of major retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Tiffany & Co., preventing shoppers from entering. To exit stores, shoppers often knocked on the glass doors and asked protesters to allow them out.”
Several shoppers became hysterical at the thought of being trapped inside the stores, with their credit cards maxed out. They swung their shopping bags at the glass, sobbing that they would miss their post-shopping latte time or that their drivers might go home without them.
Demonstrators chanted “Stop the cover-up!” Several shoppers at Chanel were heard to tell those who were chanting, “We are going to Cabo next week, and seriously, at our age, we require a cover up. Will you people please try to understand the needs of mature women? Go take your signs and whatnot elsewhere, like maybe Target.” One shopper, who overheard the encounter, was heard to respond “What’s a Target?” Another grabbed one of the signs and yelled “I’ll teach you to disrespect older women!,” as she slammed the sign over the protestor’s head.
Demonstrators also shouted, “16 shots! 16 shots!” which was the number of times the officer fired upon McDonald. A group of young shoppers, thinking the sign referred to a bar challenge, started shouting “Shots for everyone!” and tried to push past the protestors to access what they thought was a neighborhood watering hole.
Other protestors carried signs that read “Don’t Forget McDonald!” Shoppers were overheard complaining that Miracle Mile shoppers had better culinary taste than to patronize a stupid hamburger franchise that sold inferior meat products and French fries whose shelf life was approximately 10 minutes.
Most people, though, continued to shop. A spokesperson for Miracle Mile Shoppers was quoted a saying, “Listen, you annoying terrorist-types, we aren’t going to let the likes of you stop us. We have rights. And we are tough. Before I married my current husband, I slogged it out with the riff raff on Black Friday, forced to shop at scary places like The Limited and Forever 21. I slept outside the mall the night before the stores opened, and all I had to eat was granola bars that I had in my purse. I couldn’t even stop for coffee. I’ve been in the trenches and I survived. You people don’t intimidate me. Now, move out of my way, or someone gets hurt real bad.”
The Chicago Tribune quoted the following, which pretty much sums it all up: “‘I’m an American!’ hollered a woman in a red raincoat as she made a doomed attempt to force her way through the scrum of protesters. ‘I just want to get in the store. … I just want to shop!”‘