On Monday night a large police force was deployed to downtown Evanston, Illinois, to intimidate and suppress a demonstration by a small group of students from nearby Northwestern University (NU).

The students were calling for the abolition of Northwestern’s police department.

The protest was organized by a group of students known as NU Community Not Cops, which has been leading calls for the abolition of the university’s police department since the summer. The group planned to march from the campus to the downtown area to read statements speaking out against police violence.

As they made their way to their destination, students were surrounded and corralled by armed police in riot gear and shields. The Daily Northwestern reported that protesters were threatened with arrest if any of them stepped off the sidewalk into the street.

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