Tent city residents hold rally against Department of Transportation order to leave for construction project

The group held a news conference and a rally Tuesday to call attention to an order from the Illinois Department of Transportation to be out by 7 a.m. next Monday to make room for a construction project that's expected to continue through November.
The group held a news conference and a rally Tuesday to call attention to an order from the Illinois Department of Transportation to be out by 7 a.m. next Monday to make room for a construction project that's expected to continue through November. Photo credit WBBM Newsradio/Mike Krauser

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A couple dozen homeless people living in a tent city on state property along the Dan Ryan Expressway said they’re not going to allow authorities to kick them out.

The group held a news conference and a rally Tuesday to call attention to an order from the Illinois Department of Transportation to be out by 7 a.m. next Monday to make room for a construction project that's expected to continue through November.

Some held signs reading, "give us a home or leave us alone."

A long-time resident who goes by Jamaica said, “We want to send a message to the Governor and Mayor. What they are trying to do is not fair."
A long-time resident who goes by Jamaica said, “We want to send a message to the Governor and Mayor. What they are trying to do is not fair." Photo credit WBBM Newsradio/Mike Krauser

A long-time resident who goes by Jamaica said, “We want to send a message to the Governor and Mayor. What they are trying to do is not fair. It's the right to every American citizen to have housing. Leave us alone. If they can’t help us, we are not going to move from this land. We will fight with the people until the end.”

A man who goes by the nickname Beard, who said his real name is Monty Baker, said he’s been living there for about four years.

“It’s not right,” he said. “With the shelters, we all know there’s COVID-19 going on, where are we going to go?”

The couple dozen residents appear to be gearing up for a confrontation next Monday morning.
The couple dozen residents appear to be gearing up for a confrontation next Monday morning. Photo credit WBBM Newsradio/Mike Krauser

The couple dozen residents appear to be gearing up for a confrontation next Monday morning.

It's not clear whether they'll be allowed back on the property.