Multi-City Caravan to End Racism Meets Saturday at Lake Zurich High School

LAKE ZURICH, Ill. – A peaceful protest is planned in Lake Zurich on Saturday afternoon to support the Black Lives Matter movement and protest social injustice, all within a socially distanced format. The “Caravan to End Racism” will meet at 1 p.m. at the Lake Zurich High School, 300 Chruch Street in Lake Zurich. The Caravan will travel through Lake Zurich, Barrington and Palatine. Clyde McLemore, founder of Black Lives Matter Lake County will speak before the caravan leaves the school.

“I, too, stand with the Black Lives Matter movement but have avoided the local protests due to the risk of potential exposure to COVID-19,” said organizer Abby Riley, a resident of Deer Park.

The COVID-19 virus has not stopped protesters.

Riley, a pediatric nurse practitioner and mom of 3, was inspired by a National Public Radio story about protest caravans being held across the country to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I really respect those who are going out there and protesting in person, but that is not something that’s right for me,” said Riley, who provides care for medically complex children on a regular basis at a Chciagoland hospital.

A young Lake Zurich protester June 4 in Breezewald park.

Riley hoped that there might be like-minded others in the community who wanted to maintain social distance but register dissent. When she reached out to her local mom community on Facebook, Erin Siemens of Lake Zurich agreed to help her organize a caravan.

“I’ve never planned a protest before, but I’m a mother of three children, and I understand the necessity of educating my children about racism and about what happened to George Floyd. We’ve all heard that silence is violence, and I refuse to raise silent children,” she said.

Riley contacted local police departments in Lake Zurich, Barrington and Palatine as well as the Lake Zurich high school to get consent for the caravan, she said.

“I’ve never planned a protest before, but I’m a mother of three children, and I understand the necessity of educating my children about racism and about what happened to George Floyd. We’ve all heard that silence is violence, and I refuse to raise silent children.”

Protesters worldwide have donned masks that honor the May 25 death of George Floyd.

Riley has encouraged supporters to make signs and decorate their cars, but has warned all protesters to remain peaceful and wear masks when outdoors before the caravan begins. A map of the route and more information will be available on the Facebook page, found here.

Read about the June 4 protest in Lake Zurich here and how local Lake Zurich and Hawthorn Woods police chiefs reacted to it here.

By Margo Pelak

Margo Pelak is founder and managing editor of the Local Newsreader, which covers hyper-local news in Hawthorn Woods, Lake Zurich and Mundelein. She resides in Hawthorn Woods with her husband Dennis and two wild beasts named Ladybug and Juney P.

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