Meet the protesters staging a 28-hour City Hall sit-in

Members of Black Youth Project 100 and supporters are camping out in front of the mayor's office tonight. We spoke to some of them about their reasons why.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
1/9
Photograph: Martha WilliamsMembers of Black Youth Project 100 and supporters stage a sit-in at City Hall for 28 hours, Nov 25, 2014.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
2/9
Photograph: Martha WilliamsName Breanna, Organizing Co-chair of Black Youth Project 100 From Bronzeville What do you hope to accomplish by being here today? The main thing I want to accomplish here is just to be able to help my brothers and sisters that have experienced trauma at the hands of the police and at the hands of the state. That’s the biggest thing for me. To build community—because that’s the most important thing, outside of justice, that we are missing.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
3/9
Photograph: Martha WilliamsName Haroon From Woodlawn What do you hope to accomplish by being here today? I hope we get some unity. In Chicago we hope we can have some type of influence on our elected officials to stand up and do something about racial injustice in America.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
4/9
Photograph: Martha WilliamsName Ahmed From Pilsen What do you hope to accomplish by being here today? I am part of (the group) Students for Justice in Palestine. In Chicago we advocate for justice in Palestine, and the reason we are here is to build solidarity and bond with youth organizations that are trying to advocate for human rights and justice for black people in this country because we share similar struggles as Palestinian youth and we understand the urgent need to change the way the system discriminates against certain people.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
5/9
Photograph: Martha WilliamsName Erica From Edgewater What do you hope to accomplish by being here today? What I hope to accomplish is showing up in numbers. The greater numbers that fight against this injustice—that is the state situation, a racist, capitalist patriarchy that we live under. That is why cops, especially, continue to get away with murder. So I’m here to support that justice that needs to be served.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
6/9
Photograph: Martha WilliamsName Gerry From Gresham What do you hope to accomplish by being here today? To show that there is movement and we are upset, you know, we are angered about what has occurred and we would just like for our presence to be known, and let them know that we care about what is going on across the country.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
7/9
Photograph: Martha WilliamsName Mickey From North Side What do you hope to accomplish by being here today? I am here to show solidarity with the people of Ferguson and those in Chicago organizing around social justice issues. I love this city. I’ve lived here all my life and I know that we suffer from police violence.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
8/9
Photograph: Martha WilliamsMembers of Black Youth Project 100 and supporters stage a sit-in at City Hall for 28 hours, Nov 25, 2014.
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
9/9
Photograph: Martha WilliamsMembers of Black Youth Project 100 and supporters stage a sit-in at City Hall for 28 hours, Nov 25, 2014.
By Kris Vire and Martha Williams |
Advertising

Members of the Chicago chapter of Black Youth Project 100, an organization of young black activists between 18 and 35, are in the midst of what they pledge will be a 28-hour protest outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office in City Hall. The length of the sit-in, which comes in response to a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death in August of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, is what organizers say is the average number of hours between incidents in America of a young black person being shot and killed by police, security officers or "self-appointed vigilantes."

The Black Youth Project is calling on Mayor Emanuel, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and other city officials to take a leadership role in achieving fair police treatment of black citizens nationwide. Time Out photo editor Martha Williams spoke with several of the protesters and their supporters this afternoon, and asked what brought them individually to make a stand.

UPDATE: The Black Youth Project 100 members and supporters who remained in City Hall after hours ended the sit-in shortly before 7pm after police began threatening arrest, tweeting that they'd made the decision collectively.

Advertising