Peaceful Caravan to End Racism Held Yesterday

LAKE ZURICH, Ill. – More than 100 masked protesters met at Lake Zurich High School yesterday to join a multi-city Caravan to End Racism, to support the Black Lives Matter movement and protest the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others. The protest was peaceful, and organizers Abby Riley of Deer Park and Erin Siemens of North Barrington coordinated plans for the Caravan with local police. Clyde McLemore, founder, Lake County chapter of Black Lives Matter, spoke before the Caravan of cars traveled to three cities.

“I have to tell my 16-year old son how to be stopped by the police” and instruct him to know where he keeps his insurance information. “These are issues that probably none of you have to discuss with your children,” said McLemore, to the mostly white protesters in attendance.

“The Black Lives Matter movement is extremely important. Change needs to happen.”

Abby Riley, Caravan to End Racism organizer

“We need your white privilege to get our message out,” said McLemore, who emphasized that white allies have been helping Black Americans since the underground railroad. “White folks would put a candle in the window and that was somewhere for our ancestors to hide.”

Dana Fleming, 15, of Lake Zurich attended the Caravan with her mother. Fleming led and planned the June 4 protest with help from several others.

“I am sure these past few weeks, your eyes have been opened to the systemic nationwide oppression and discrimination that has plagued the black community,” said Isabelle Jordan, a college student, who addressed the protesters. Jordan and several others helped Dana Fleming, 15, plan the June 4 Lake Zurich protest.

Protesters decorated their cars with signs, encouraging others to honk for support. The Caravan of cars passed through Lake Zurich and Barrington, ending in Palatine.

Hear from the Caravan Organizers

Caravan Organizer Abby Riley on the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement

Clyde McLemore, founder of Black Lives Matter Lake County talks about what defunding police really means

Erin Siemens of North Barrington, a Caravan organizer, discusses how she collaborated with Abby Riley to plan the event.

More Videos from the event

Clyde McLemore, founder of the Lake County chapter of Black Lives Matter talks about conversations he has had with his 16-year old son about getting stopped by police while driving.
Isabelle Jordan talks about systemic racism

Photos from the event

Other stories you might like…

  • Read about how local Lake Zurich and Hawthorn Woods police chiefs reacted to the June 4 protest here.
  • Read here about a former Lake Zurich student, now living in Morocco, who petitioned the Lake Zurich school district to include a more diverse, anti-racist curriculum–and she got a response.
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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