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BLM Chicago claims that looting and theft are merely reparations. In response to mass looting that took place in Chicago earlier this week, one BLM Chicago activist, Ariel Atkins, spoke out in favour of looting and property destruction, and unequivocally against the police.
"If somebody decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy's or a Nike because that makes sure that that person eats, that makes sure that person has clothes, that's reparations. That is reparations. Anything they want to take, take it, because these businesses have insurance. They're gonna get their money back. My people aren't getting anything."
Atkins gave a speech at a protest outside of the District 1 Police station. Her take is that there's nothing wrong with destroying buildings, or with mass theft. She asked the crowd of about 100 "Why is [Mayor Lori] Lightfoot so stressed about some buildings when people are dying?"
Atkins insulted the police officers in the station nearby, calling them "stupid a** motherf***ers on their ugly a** bikes and their ugly a** shoes!" Her words for Lightfoot were unkind as well, noting that the mayor is too concerned with police safety and not enough with the safety of the community.
"We don't need them!" Atkins said of police. "They do not keep us safe!"
"Who keeps us safe?" She asked.
"We keep us safe!" The crowd chanted in unison.
"Who keeps us safe?"
"We keep us safe," the crowd recited again, and again.
"We say f*** these police!" She said. And the crowd said it in response, again and again.
However, not all Chicago residents are in favour of police abolishment. Speaking in Englewood, the site of the police involved shooting on Sunday which is attributed with sparking the looting and riots, a representative of the Englewood Political Task Force told CBS News that people from outside the neighbourhood were the ones inciting unrest.
"Those were opportunists," he said. "We're tired of Englewood being a black eye for anything and everything that happens."
He complained about people coming in from outside the neighbourhood, antagonizing police, and leaving residents of Englewood to sort it out. "When they go back home... our police are bitter, and they're beating up our little black boys. So we're not gonna have that."
"We have a relationship with the commander," he said. "If anyone wants to come in here and talk to the police about the shooting or anything, they have to go through us. We have a relationship. Are all the police good? No they're not. But all the police are not bad. And if you have a relationship in your community with the police, we don't need any outsiders coming in and antagonizing them."
When asked if he had an issue with the protestors who showed up on Englewood streets, he said "Yes I do, because none of them are from Englewood."
For her part, Atkins has been speaking out against police from the BLM Chicago platform for some time. In October, she spoke against the police budget.
Chicago has seen an increasing crime wave in the wake of George Floyd's death in May in Minneapolis.