“I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store, because that makes sure that person eats,” said Ariel Atkins, a BLM organizer, according to NBC Chicago.
“That makes sure that person has clothes,” Atkins said. “… That is reparations. Anything they wanted to take, they can take because these businesses have insurance.”
Rioters caused at least $60 million in property damage and injured 13 police officers, according to Fox News.
But instead of condemning such violence, BLM activists decided to host a rally on Monday in support of the looters who were arrested.
Soon afterward, the Chicago branch of the BLM organization released a statement calling for the complete dissolution of the Chicago Police Department.
“The mayor clearly has not learned anything since May, and she would be wise to understand that the people will keep rising up until the [Chicago Police Department] is abolished and our Black communities are fully invested in,” the group said in a statement.
The group went on to warn Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot that the unrest would not stop until “the safety and well-being of our communities is finally prioritized.”
The organization also refused to condemn the violent rioting, arguing that rioting is actually a form of protest that Chicago officials must accept.
“Over the past few months, too many people—disproportionately Black and Brown—have lost their jobs, lost their income, lost their homes, and lost their lives as the city has done nothing and the Chicago elite have profited,” BLM Chicago said in a statement, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“When protesters attack high-end retail stores that are owned by the wealthy and service the wealthy, that is not ‘our’ city and has never been meant for us,” it said.