Thousands protest against anti-immigrant raids in U.S.
July 14, 2019
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Thousands of people crowded Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago on Saturday to protest the undocumented raids ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump.
Artemio Arreola, of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), told Efe that the rally held in front of the Mayor’s office could surpass the organizers’ initial estimate of 10,000 people.
Demonstrators unfurled posters reading “close the concentration camps,” referring to facilities where immigrants, particularly children, are held at the border.
Also, “stop deportations now,” while a large sign hanging from the Daley Center building, where the Cook County courts operate, says, “End detentions, welcome immigrants.”
In a rally held in the plaza, Democratic Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, urged listeners to “tell this racist president that he has to stop the criminalization of the desperate.
The District 4 representative, which includes Latino neighborhoods such as La Villita and Humboldt Park, called Trump’s policies “cruel and inhumane.”
Other speakers demanded the “immediate cessation of attacks on immigrant families” and the “oppressive immigration policies” of the government.
Arreola said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot did not participate in the protest, and toured several neighborhoods.
Among the participants were several local politicians and councilmen, but some well-known figures from the pro-immigrant struggle were absent, such as Illinois Democratic Senator Richard Durbin.
“We didn’t invite Durbin because the organizers feel he hasn’t faced Trump’s attacks hard enough to get the resources to build the border wall,” Arreola said.
The legislator participated Friday night in a meeting of Communities United, a community group in northwest Chicago.
He said it is “shameful” that the United States has come to the point of rejecting “people who are simply asking for an opportunity to have a better life, and to be part of the future of the country.”
Protests against the raids, which would begin tomorrow in Chicago and nine other cities across the country with large concentrations of immigrants, began Friday night with Liberty Lights vigils in other Illinois cities, including Aurora, Galena, Waukegan and Oak Park.
Prior to today’s rally in the plaza, representatives of the Asian American Immigrant Association met at the Chicago Cultural Center, and other groups held events in neighborhoods in the city’s northwest and southwest.
Due to the heat of 32 degrees Celsius 1, the Municipal Transportation Company parked several air-conditioned buses near the plaza so demonstrators could cool down.
- 6 Fahrenheid ↩