The Crusader Newspaper Group

Group protests at Citgo Gas Station in Roseland

Crusader Staff Report

A group of Black activists on Saturday, March 17, protested in front of a Citgo Gas Station in Roseland after a customer was allegedly called a “nigga” during an argument.

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A PROTESTOR TELLS a driver to not shop at a Citgo gas station, where an employee allegedly called a Black customer a nigger. (Photo by Keith Chambers)

The Sanklore African Society is urging a boycott against the gas station, located at 9454 S. Cottage Grove. Two Chicago police officers ordered them off the property before they staged a two-hour demonstration on the sidewalk. Waving large Pan African flags, they shouted, “Don’t spend money here” to drivers entering the gas station. Some ignored their plea, while others listened and drove off.

One protester, Brother Maruwa Ferrell, said the boycott “is needed. We have a lot of businesses in our community that’s owned by people who don’t look like us. Some things got to change. We’re just trying to change the conditions in our community.”

According to Chief Kamara, leader of the Sankore African Society, an argument erupted between an Arab employee and a Black customer. Kamara, who said he was with the customer during the encounter, said the employee called the customer a “nigga.”  Kamara said the customer fled the gas station after another man tried to punch him. The customer, who was not identified, did not attend the protest, fearing for his life. Kamara did attend the demonstration.

“They’re not denying the fact they called him ‘nigga’,” Kamara said.

The Crusader briefly spoke to the owner, who did not give his name but said he could not speak about the situation over the phone. He offered to speak to a Crusader reporter during an interview at his facility a day after press time on last Thursday.

The Crusader reporter attended the protest, which grew heated when the protesters walked up to the front entrance of the convenience store of the gas station where a row of men stood. One man said, “We won! We won! United we stand!”

Then one activist said, “We’ll show you in about 10 minutes.”

That’s when a police officer asked, “Excuse me sir, was that a threat?”

A woman activist replied, “That means we’re about to demonstrate our power. All power to the people!”

The activists left the premises, after they were told to leave because the gas station is private property. With their Pan African flags, they staged the demonstration on the sidewalk around the premises. Passing drivers constantly honked in response to the protesters.

Kamara said more protests are planned in the coming weeks after his group reorganizes and comes up with fresh ideas.






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