Riverdale mayor speaks out against gun shop protests

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A suburban mayor is speaking out against a protest in her village last weekend. That demonstration ended with the arrests of Reverend Jesse Jackson and Father Michael Pfleger. They have led two protests at Chuck's Gun Shop in Riverdale. The mayor there says the demonstrations have cost the village thousands of dollars.

The mayor says resources spent on protecting protesters' rights and safety will be better spent elsewhere, in particular, trying to prevent gun violence. This was all sparked by an incident over the weekend, a protest of a gun shop in Riverdale.

On Saturday, Reverend Jesse Jackson and Father Michael Pfleger led a group of protesters. They were protesting Chuck's Gun Shop. There have been other protests at the shop, but over the weekend, there were accusations of shoving. Both Reverend Jackson and Father Pfleger were arrested when they refused to move from the shop's entrance.

Tuesday, the mayor of Riverdale said the village has strict gun laws, and Chuck's follows the laws and is a responsible business. Mayor Zenovia Evans suggests protesters take those protests to state legislators.

"They are aware the gun ordinance is probably the strictest of the state. They are aware that we have very limited finances, that the police guard the place or stand out there when they are doing the march. It cost the Village of Riverdale over $3,500 just to provide that protection," said Mayor Evans.

Mayor Evans says this is an undue hardship on the village, and they need those resources to provide education and job training for the young people who are unfortunately falling victim to gun violence. Mayor Evans also says she understands the frustration of families who have lost loved ones, as she has lost a son and two nephews. She offered to go to Springfield when and if Reverend Jackson and Father Pfleger march to Springfield to protest the gun laws currently in Illinois.

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