An estimated 400 people gathered in Independence Park on April 18 for a protest against police violence and a rally to defund the Evanston and Northwestern police departments, organized jointly by Evanston Fight for Black Lives and Northwestern Community Not Cops.
With a drumbeat provided by Michael James, volunteers walked through the crowd offering masks in case someone had shown up without one and water for the march to the then-undisclosed location. Organizers said they planned to keep the destination from the police, yet Evanston Police cars were on hand to ensure the protesters could walk on vehicle-free streets, blocking off streets as needed and tweeting as marchers entered and left intersections.
The route took the protestors from Independence Park, Stewart Avenue at Central Street, to the entry arch on the Northwestern campus, where Sheridan Road, bends as it intersects with Chicago Avenue. The rally, which began at 2:30 p.m., ended just after 4 p.m., peacefully and without incident, as it had been the entire time.