Ariel Atkins told WBEZ that her group “100 percent” supports the violent looters who trashed chunks of the Windy City Monday, again repeating her claim that it is “reparations.”
“The whole idea of criminality is based on racism anyway,” she told the NPR station.
“Because criminality is punishing people for things that they have needed to do to survive or just the way that society has affected them with white supremacist BS,” she said.
Ariel Atkins, a lead organizer for Black Lives Matter Chicago, leading a protest Monday outside the Chicago Police Department’s District 1 station. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
At least 13 cops were injured and 100 people arrested in violent clashes that led to a mostly black community in the troubled South Side to kick out a BLM march the next day.
Atkins attacked Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot — who is black — for calling the looting “straight-up felony, criminal conduct.”
“It’s like her deciding what is criminal and what isn’t,” Atkins said as she suggested that calling the thieves criminals was itself a form of racism.
“I will support the looters till the end of the day. If that’s what they need to do in order to eat, then that’s what you’ve got to do to eat,” she said of those who even tried to smash their way into a Ronald McDonald House caring for sick children and their families.
Atkins dismissed the idea that civil rights had “ever gotten wins” from “peaceful protests.”
“Winning has come through revolts. Winning has come through riots,” she said.
Ariel Atkins, seen here with the microphone, also blasted the response from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
“The only people that can undermine our movement are the police, our oppressors, and then us when we don’t believe in the people that we’re fighting with,” she told the station.
“If anyone is attacking this city, it’s them,” she insisted of police.
“And anybody who is rising up and saying, ‘We won’t take this anymore, we’re going to do what we want’ — those are the people that she should be trying to protect, and those are the people that she should be getting outraged for,” she said.
Atkins had no sympathy for the businesses damaged in the spree, which included a small convenience store likely to go out of business after being looted twice in months.
“The fact that anybody gives a s–t about these businesses over what is happening in this city right now and the pain that people are in and the suffering that is taking place, I don’t care,” she admitted.