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Chicago police push U.S. flags onto ethnic neighborhood

The Chicago police have been going from
store to store on Devon Ave. (where Pakistani
stores are) intimidating storekeepers into
displaying the U.S. flag.
The Chicago police have been going from
store to store on Devon Ave. (where Pakistani
stores are) intimidating storekeepers into
displaying the U.S. flag.

Devon Ave. in Chicago (several blocks both east
and west of Western Ave. on the north side) is
where a lot of Indians, Pakistanis, and Russians
live and shop. On the weekend following the
WTC attack, block after block of sari stores,
jewelry stores, Indian, Pakistani, and
Indian-Pakistani (with the hyphen) restaurants,
grocery stores, electronic imports, you-name-it,
virtually all of them displayed an American flag.
Some had paper flags taped to the windows, some
displayed very large cloth flags hanging from the
signs. In this highly concentrated immigrant
neighborhood there are now more U.S. flags
that at your average American Legion convention.

Devon Ave. is a street where the people are
proud of their ethnic heritage, where big
and colorful Indian Independence Day parades
as well as Pakistani parades take place.

I spoke with one person behind the counter
at a store on Devon, telling him how unfortunate
it was that people on this street should feel
intimidated into 'waving' the U.S. flag because
they were ethnic minorities. He told me that
it was not really their idea, but that the police
had come by to each shop and handed out flags.
The implication was clear: if any shop keeper
did not put up the flag, the police would take
note of it, and perhaps find ways of making
the store keeper sorry he/she didn't put
up the U.S. flag.

There needs to be a protest against this
political intimidation by the Police.

-Larry Duncan
 
 

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