Protesters March to Illinois Mayor's House: 'You're Not Going to Enjoy Your Weekend'

Protesters in Illinois marched to Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara's home on Saturday evening to demand that charges be dropped against activists arrested during a May 30 rally sparked by George Floyd's death.

Several protesters were arrested in connection with demonstrations that day, which saw law enforcement officers fire teargas at demonstrators after a police district building was vandalized.

In the days that followed, police also arrested several individuals for alleged looting incidents that unfolded amid protests demanding racial justice in the wake of Floyd's death, which saw the 46-year-old black man killed after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck fo nearly nine minutes.

On Saturday, protesters sought to make their demands heard by bringing their message directly to McNamara's front door.

Making their presence known with drums, air horns and pots and pans, demonstrators began to march to McNamara's house from Wester Park at around 9 p.m., according to local newspaper the Rockford Register Star.

Not long after demonstrators arrived, the mayor and his wife emerged from their home, each holding one of their children, to meet with the demonstrators, who remained on public property just a few feet away, according to the newspaper.

Speaking through a megaphone, one of the protesters relayed the group's demands, reportedly telling McNamara: "We're requesting that you guys consider dropping the charges of all protesters arrested on May 30."

"You have not publicly acknowledged any of the injuries that any of the protesters have faced," the demonstrator said, according to the Rockford Register Star. "So now we're coming right to you, to your doorstep and we'll be here as many times as we have to because you need to drop the charges."

McNamara responded by telling protesters: "I'd be happy to talk to you... I'm just not going to do it in front of my house."

Apparently unsatisfied with the mayor's response, the protester said: "You're not going to enjoy your weekend. "Not tonight."

All told, the confrontation laster for approximately one minute and 20 seconds, the Rockford Register Star reported, with protesters returning to Wester Park following the exchange.

Newsweek has contacted McNamara's office for comment.

According to the Star, demonstrators also spoke in solidarity with protesters in Portland, where ongoing unrest in the wake of Floyd's death has rocked the city for around two months now, with protesters clashing with federal law enforcement officers night after night.

City and state officials have also sparred with the Trump administration over its decision to deploy federal officers to Portland's streets.

Both Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Oregon Governor Kate Brown have repeatedly called on the federal government to pull its officers out of Portland, asserting that the presence of U.S. law enforcement has only heightened tensions in the city.

The Trump administration has rejected those calls, however, asserting that it will only remove federal law enforcement from Portland's streets once federal buildings are no longer at risk of destruction.

Illinois protest
Demonstrators march in the Loop to show support for black workers on July 20, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. On Saturday, July 25, 2020, protesters in Rockford, Illinois marched to the home of Mayor Tom McNamara to demand that charges against protesters be dropped. Scott Olson/Getty