Chicago protests: Hundreds of protesters condemn police brutality in Wrigleyville, Lincoln Square, Mount Greenwood

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Thousands of protesters marched through the city and its suburbs for the second weekend in a row to demand an end to police brutality.

As protesters fight to get their voices heard, lawmakers are pushing for reform in police departments in Chicago and across the country.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot lifted the city-wide curfew on Sunday afternoon, after days of requiring residents to return home by 9 p.m. Chicago's Central Business District is also back open, ahead of the work week.

"The curfew is lifted effective immediately. I know this time in our city and our country has been difficult for us all, and I'm grateful to our residents for working together to navigate this challenging time," Lightfoot announced on Twitter.

On Sunday evening, hundreds of protesters sat outside the Chicago Police Department District 19 headquarters, calling for CPD officers to take a knee to show solidarity.

From the signs to the chants and the heated one-on-one conversations, the message remained clear: speak up against police brutality, demand justice for George Floyd and unite to fight back against systemic racism.

Earlier in the day, a crowd of roughly 200 people gathered in Chicago's Mount Greenwood, renewing calls to end police brutality and systemic racism.

"Every young black man is not a criminal and so I'm out here for that reason," said protester Muriel Harris.

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A crowd of roughly 200 people gathered in Chicago's Mount Greenwood Sunday, renewing calls to end police brutality and systemic racism.

The mood was upbeat Sunday, but demonstrators' signs reflected the seriousness of their demands for greater transparency and accountability among police forces nationwide.

"These are men and women, as well as children, who have lost their lives because of police brutality," said protester Tanesha McGhee. "Racism has to stop."

"We're seeing our young African American men not able to grow up to be everything they aspire to be," said protester Catherine Walker. "They are not able to graduate, to finish school, to become their full self. My concern is I'll have to visit my son at the cemetery before his time is up."

The peaceful protest ended near Mt. Hope Cemetery, where in 2016 Joshua Beal had just left a relative's funeral when he was killed by a Chicago police officer following a road rage incident.

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On Sunday afternoon, Black Lives Matter organizers led a march through west suburban Cicero.

In west suburban Cicero, hundreds walked through the streets chanting for change.

They shared a message asking to unite black and brown communities, as well as to stop police brutality.

The peaceful protest comes after at least 60 people were arrested and two people were killed in the area just last week.

Cicero police said outside agitators came in to steal and destroy property, which led to chaos.

Protesters also called attention to what they say has been growing tension between African American and Latino residents.

No issues were reported in the area Sunday.

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Crowds gathered in Evanston Sunday afternoon to voice support with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Meanwhile, crowds gathered for a rally in Evanston Sunday afternoon to voice support with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Evanston chapter of the NAACP and several other organizations supported the event.

RELATED: Family, friends gather to celebrate the life of George Floyd near his North Carolina birthplace

On Saturday, massive crowds rallied in Chicago's Union Park on the same day a memorial service for George Floyd was held near his North Carolina birthplace.

"We cannot let the fire die. We have to unite. We have to be here and we have to stand for our brothers and sisters," said Carlos Salgado, Jr., who attended the rally that started in Union Park.

Protesters danced, listened to poems and discussed racial injustice.

"I think it's really important to be here as a white 24-year-old, so I can be an ally to everyone who cannot defend themselves," said marcher Samantha Belanger.

Rodrigo Vega, an 18-year-old college student, said people of color must unite against prejudice.

"It is important because blacks and Latinos are what made America," Vega said. "We won't be as diverse as we are today."

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A massive crowd of protesters gathered at Union Park Saturday.

Chicago resident Williams sites and his wife came with their two daughters and friends to the "Chicago March for Justice," which started in Union Park.

"We wanted to share the pain that people are feeling because of the murder of George Floyd and so many other African Americans," said William Sites. "We also wanted to be a part of this large movement."

Brought together by a common cause, the diverse crowd also called for police reforms.

Janell Colbert, a mother of three, had her own reasons.

"When I see an injustice against one black boy, I think of my own boys, so that's why it's important for me to be out here because I don't want to be the next hashtag," Colbert said. "I don't want my child to be the next hashtag."

After chaos in the streets last week, organizers are calling on protesters to remain peaceful.

At one point, marchers stopped and took a knee.

"We need safety in our communities," said Ald. Walter Burnett. "We still have a long way to go. We need a balance. We need justice."

The march wound through the city's West Side and ended near Seward Park.

"I hope all this stuff going on really makes a change," Colbert said.

The Chicago Teachers Union, and grassroots groups, also held a march Saturday morning. They're calling for police officers to be taken out of Chicago schools.

WATCH: Chicago Teachers Union calls for CPD to be taken out of schools
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The Chicago Teachers Union and grassroots groups held a march Saturday morning. They're calling for police officers to be taken out of Chicago schools.

The groups marched on the Southwest Side, demanding that the school district cancel its contract with CPD and instead use the money for social workers and support staff.

The same demands led protesters to fill up Union Park on Friday night.

RELATED: Chicago protest in Union Park calls for city to defund Chicago Police Department; hundreds march through Near West Side

In the suburbs, protests drew large turnouts as well.

From La Grange to Romeoville, hundreds marched on Saturday. No issues or arrests were reported.

Back in downtown Chicago, the rallies also focused on getting protesters to the polls.

"You have a voice and you will be heard because we live in the U.S. and we have that right," Salgado said.

Other protests planned throughout the Chicago area Saturday included "The Walk to Recognize Racism" beginning at Edgebrook Elementary School on the Northwest Side, The Puerto Rican Agenda of Chicago's vigil for black lives lost to racism at 10:30 a.m. at Adalberto Memorial United Methodist Church in Humboldt Park, and a "Rally Against Racism" along Roosevelt Road in Glen Ellyn. The Mosque Foundation is also holding a sit-in rally in Bridgeview Saturday to stand against systemic racism.

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced new measures to protect protesters and businesses on Friday.

Chicago police did not immediately report any major problems stemming from Saturday's protests, a change from last weekend's rallies, which were accompanied by what officials see as separate looting and violence.

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has imposed a curfew starting Saturday night after violent protests erupted across the city.

A "peace walk" was planned to step off from 79th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue at 10 a.m. Sunday, as the momentum for change continues to grow in Chicago and across the country. Organizations among the marchers include My Block My Hood My City, The Social Consult, Good Kids Mad City, and D.O.P.E. Youth. One thousand meals will be distributed to South Side residents as part of the event.

At noon, local religious leaders and activists are taking part in the "I Have a Black Son" march. That's happening at 111th Street and western Avenue. At 2 p.m., United Black Family is rallying at Fountain Square in Downtown Evanston. And at 4:30 p.m., protesters are planning to assemble in Lincoln Square.

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More Chicago protests are expected Sunday, after rallies earlier in the weekend remained peaceful. Marchers honored George Floyd and demanded an end to police brutality.

One hundred men or more will hold a Celebration of Life in honor of George Floyd and other victims Sunday night. Candles will burn and cell phone lights will be turned on for eight minutes and 46 seconds in Hegewisch. The event is planned for 7:45 to 8:45 p.m. at UAW Local 551 Union Hall.
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