Chicago Indymedia :
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LOCAL News :: Civil & Human Rights

Article and more pics from today's huge march

In a crowd of 400,000, according to the police, and 700,000, according to the organizers, our contingent of openly Lesbian and Gay people supporting immigrant rights was warmly received.
GLN in the Loop3, lowres.jpg

In contrast to the stereotypes about what we might expect from a predominantly Roman Catholic crowd, the support we received was so effusive as to be embarrassing – in the huge crowd, we heard only one anti-gay comment all day long.

In Grant Park2, low res.jpg

Aside from the basic issue of solidarity (you can’t expect it yourselves if you don’t extend it to others), Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans people of all races have a direct interest in real immigration reform. For example, asylum provisions for our people fleeing repression in other countries is a joke – not unexpected given the fact that the U.S. actively supports countries which brutally repress gays: Saudi Arabia executing our people, Nigeria preparing to pass a law to do the same (supported by the local Anglican Church), and Poland allowing fascist thugs to attack demonstrations of gay people.

March floods the Loop3, lowres.jpg

Looking east towards the Lake, low res.jpg
Looking in both directions from the Loop el, people fill the street as far as the eye (and camera) can see.

As far as the eye can see, Randolph St5, lowres.jpg

As far as the eye can see, Randolph St7, lowres.jpg

While there was a profusion of American flags in the ranks, not everyone was buying the uber-patriotic road to winning equal rights . . .

American Flag2, lowres.jpg

The issue of trying to be "more patriotic than thou" is just one of many coming to the fore as the burgeoning movement develops more political definition. It poses a basic question that other movements before have faced: do you win rights by attempting to ingratiate yourself with your oppressors by adopting their myths about an all-encompassing "national interest," read patriotism, or does a movement need to reject that ideology in order to advance?

At the start of World War I, most of the African American movement answered this question by embracing patriotism and the war effort in hopes that there would be a quid pro quo in the form of more rights for their people. But in spite of their sacrifices during the war, the bloody pogroms and other racism endured by African Americans at the end of the war was virtually without precedent even in the history of the United States.



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