Chicago protests racist immigration policies
For a full list of actions leading up to the 18-21 protests against NATO, see the calendar. All need coverage and participants!
Father José Landaverde and Occupy El Barrio led a march against immigration detention from Little Village to downtown Chicago, ending outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Chicago Immigration Court. CIMC caught up with organizer Crystal Vance Guerra after the event. She noted that, "This is the second day of actions leading up to the NATO summit," and the action is "addressing issues that impact us here in Chicago, but also making connections to NATO."
Vance Guerra asked why "the city of Chicago is willing to put in money to fund a summit of people who are propagating wars across the globe." "How is it we have money for war and [immigration] detention but not education?" she asked. "There's all this money for war but not for the people."
Marchers rallied outside the Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Mission in Little Village then marched to the Lincoln Methodist Church in Pilsen. They met up with Occupy members and marched downtown to the Chicago Immigration Court at Van Buren and Clinton to hold a press conference and rally against ICE policies. Activists then picketed the space and several activists blocked the doors for over an hour, restricting access to the building. Two of the activists blocking the doors, José Landaverde and Emma Lozano, were arrested after police demanded protestors vacate the space "at request of building management." While the building management's requests were quickly headed, the protestors requests for and end to deportations were disregarded by the police.
After Fr. Landaverde and Lozano were arrested, the crowd rallied to form another picket and march where two other activists were arrested after police demanded they stay on the sidewalk. Vance Guerra said, "When we got to the bridge […] the cops lined up with as many bikes as they could find [to block the street]. One of the young guys who was arrested was crossing the street […] and they arrested a guy from Occupy El Barrio who we all saw as on the sidewalk."
Vance Guerra noted how NATO and US immigration policy overlapped in another, perhaps less intimately connected way, systemic White supremacy. She noted that "the way immigration is controlled in this country is racially motivated." Further, NATO's wars are being fought against "non-White nations, it's all connected."
For more photos see the NATO Indymedia facebook page.
For video of the action see Unedited Camera's archived livestream.