Chicago Indymedia :
Chicago Indymedia

News :: [none]

Thousands march in Chicago for Amnesty, Dignity and Peace for Vieques!

Thousands of march in Chicago Saturday for dignity and amnesty for immigrant workers and an end to the US Navy's occupation of Vieques. An eyewitness account
I don't know yet what might have happened in other cities, but the MARCH FOR DIGNITY AND AMNESTY AND PEACE IN VIEQUES here in Chicago was a rousing success, a triumph of popular mobilization. Although I don't think there was quite as large a crowd as the one on Sept. 23, it was nevertheless aw vast throng of many thousands, with large contingents from Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio, the latter including several busloads of people from the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) with their distinctive black eagle on red background flags. The throng filled the federal plaza downtown from end to end, tightly packed at its highest point.
Three contngents marched from the North side and two from the south. There was a very brief rally at Union Park at Lake and Ashland, and then a massive march to the loop down Jackson avenue. At Whitney Young High School, another contingent of at least several hundred mostly Polish immigrant marchers joined the throng. When we got to the federal plaza, there were several hundred more people already waiting there. In the crowd there were Mexican, Puerto Rican, Central American, Chinese, Palestinian, Korean, Polish and many other contingents. In the program MC'd by Emma Lozano of Sin Fronteras, there were rather few speeches, this by design, but presentations by Cong. Luis Gutierrez and by Baldemar Velazquez and Beatriz Maya of the Farm Labor organizing committee. Congressman Gutierrez re-iterated his plan to put in a bill for full unconditional amnesty, demanded an end to the Navy abuse of Vieques, and called on President Clinton to keep his promise to sign legislation now in the pipeline to: (a) extend amnesty to Haitians, Salvadorans, Guatemalans and Hondurans in a program that originally included only Cubans and Nicaraguans (b) give amnesty to people left out the 1986 IRCA amnesty by government bungling and (c) restore 245(i), the lapsed law that would allow undocumented relatives of citizens and legal residents to legalize themselves without going back to their country of origin, on the basis of a $1000 fine. Baldemar Velazquez of FLOC, besides reinforcing the call for amnesty, asked the crowd to organize solidarity for 300,000 migrant farm workers living and working in inhuman conditions inNorth Carolina. Velazquez remnded the crowd that to get the amnesty is only the first step, that the next is to make sure that all immigrant workers are organized so that they can fight for their rights at the workplace.

There were greetings from other people including Sen.Miguel del Valle, County Commissioner Roberto Maldonado, Rep. Willie Delgado, Aldermen Rick Muñoz and Billy Ocasio and a number of others.

Kudos to FLOC for a wonderful organizing job at the\
national level, and locally to Sin Fronteras, Erie Neighborhood House, St. Gall Roman Catholic Church, Salvador Cerna from the office of Cong. Gutierrez, the Polish Community Organizations and the many other groups and individuals who participated in the planning.

Sour grapes award to the local TV stations, e.g. Channel 7 which is reporting over andover that "several hundred" people participated in the March!

There will be followup meetings; you can e-mail me to find out dates, times and places, or call Diana Valenzuela at (773) 772 8383,



Account Login

Media Centers


This site made manifest by dadaIMC software