Spike Lee Takes to the Streets to Protest Gun Violence after 'Chi-Raq' Premiere – and Blasts Chicago Mayor Mayor Rahm Emanuel

The march was inspired by the film's message of anti-gun violence, and the recent protests in Chicago

Photo: James Devaney/GC

Spike Lee and the cast of his new feature film Chi-Raq opted to mark the movie’s premiere on Tuesday night with a political protest rather than a star-studded party.

After a screening at New York City’s Ziegfeld Theatre of Lee’s satirical adaptation of Greek play Lysistrata, the director and stars Nick Cannon and John Cusack were joined by Reverend Al Sharpton for a march to Times Square.

The march was inspired by the film’s message of anti-gun violence, and the recent protests in Chicago following the release of a video from the police shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

Participants wore orange beanies, a color chosen, according to the Associated Press, to represent the vests worn by hunters as a “don’t shoot me sign.”

Lee slammed the ongoing violence in Chicago and lack of appropriate response, citing city Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision earlier Tuesday to fire the city’s police superintendent.

“Some more heads are gonna roll,” Lee said, according to the AP, also adding the police superintendent “is not gonna be the only one.”

After nine people were fatally shot at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, on Oct. 1, PEOPLE launched a call to action urging readers to ask Congress what is being done about gun violence in America. Beginning in our Nov. 23rd issue, PEOPLE began its series Finding Solutions to Gun Violence, focusing on individuals and organizations working towards solving gun violence around the country.

VIDEO: A Call to Action: People Urges Readers to Call Congress about Gun Violence

Cusack, who appears in Chi-Raq, told the AP that the shootings and killings in Chicago are “unacceptable.” He noted that the police officer in question from the aforementioned 2014 shooting wasn’t charged until the city’s election had passed and Emmanuel had won a second term this year.

“It’s very tragic that information was suppressed for an election cycle,” Cusack said.

“We’ve got to get out here and express our pain the right way,” the movie’s star, Nick Cannon, added.

Marchers included the parents of youth shooting victims – those killed in both Chicago and elsewhere – and guests like actor John Tuturro, who isn’t in the movie. The protest was documented on Chi-Raq official Twitter page.

In Chi-Raq, which hits theaters Dec. 4, the girlfriend of a Chicago gang leader persuades women to withhold sex from their significant others until they agree to end senseless violence.

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