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Protesters for Palestine lead caravan through Chicago

On December 8, 2023, the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine organized a caravan from SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview across Interstate 90 in efforts to raise awareness and show support for Palestinians amidst the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Police estimated that around 100 cars were involved with the caravan that shut down I-90.

While waiting for the caravan to start, participants led chants and cheers, honked horns and waved their flags in support. | Photo by Martin Ruiz.

Participants in the caravan met in the parking lot of SeatGeek Stadium, while police guided cars into a specific section of the lot. The caravan protest was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., but due to the increased number of cars arriving at the stadium, the protest began about an hour behind schedule. Participating cars were told to stay in one lane and to follow the flow of traffic. 

“The goal of the caravan is going to be to disrupt traffic and make it very clear to the people of Chicago and the areas we are going to and hitting, this is something that also affects them,” Nick Sous, an organizer with the US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), said “It’s our tax dollars that go to fund this genocide in Gaza and we want to make it clear to the people here that there are people who support Palestine.” 

Sous was informing drivers on the intended goal of the caravan in the stadium parking lot, walking through the aisles of cars with a megaphone.

The caravan drove from SeatGeek Stadium to I-90 and was stopped by police around 4 p.m., when they closed inbound lanes to the interstate.

This was the first caravan organized by the USPCN, but the organization has been marching and protesting in Chicago at least once a week since the conflicts between Israel and Hamas broke out in October 2023. Largely promoted through Instagram, the USPCN’s marches can most often be seen in the South Loop on Fridays and Saturdays. 

Cars waiting in the SeatGeek Stadium parking lot. A rear window reads, “#FreePalestine Stop The Genocide In Gaza” Most participating cars were decorated. | Photo by Martin Ruiz.
Taken from the front of the caravan. | Photo by Martin Ruiz.
Two children sit on top of a car, its window decorated with a keffiyeh while waiting in the stadium parking lot. Most cars and participants could be seen wearing keffiyehs. | Photo by Martin Ruiz.
Prior to taking to the streets, a couple adjusts their car’s flags. | Photo by Martin Ruiz.

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