Matthew Kaplan Photography

General Iron Protest in Logan Square - Chicago - 11/14/20

Venturing to the city's north side on Saturday afternoon, environmental and social justice activists from Chicago's southeast side, including Bridges//Puentes, and a cadre of students and teachers from George Washington High School, protested the relocation of the General Iron scrap metal facility, with its toxic particulate pollution, from the north branch of the Chicago River to a brownfield on the east bank of the Calumet River, in their community. The location being vacated by General Iron is changing from industrial use to a residential development, as part of the multi-billion dollar real estate project known as Lincoln Yards.

Gathering at a church at Kedzie and Wrightwood in the solidly gentrified Logan Square neighborhood, the southeast side protestors, and their allies, demanded Mayor Lightfoot block the permit which General Iron needs to operate its problematic facility at a new site only a few blocks from, and upwind of, the public high school at 114th street and Avenue O.

"We will not be pushed aside" one of the students proclaimed, while another stated "We're here to speak some south side truth to the north siders! The south side truth is, we are the city's dumping ground!", adding "We are the people of the south east side and we demand that Mayor Lori Lightfoot deny the permit!"

"If it's not appropriate for Lincoln Park" a speaker emphasized, "it's not appropriate for the southeast side!!"

Following speeches, the group marched through the nearby streets to let the residents know they were fed up with the city relocating dirty industries out of affluent north side neighborhoods and "into Black and Brown lungs on the south side". 

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