Mexican Independence Day caravan highlights immigration points, Mexican pleasure – Streetsblog Chicago
Sunday’s sunshine and neighborhood spirit introduced folks on bikes and in automobiles, plus native DJ Barbi, to the Southeast Aspect to have a good time Mexican Independence Day, however to additionally name consideration to the political system that has separated households on the border, detained kids and discriminated towards immigrants.
Native collective Bridges/Puentes: Justice Collective of the Southeast hosted the “Till We Are All Free” caravan round South Chicago, Jeffrey Manor ,and the East Aspect. The realm is dwelling to the longest-running Mexican Independence Day parade, which started in 1939 at a time when immigrants have been discriminated towards and plenty of have been deported again to Mexico in the course of the Nice Melancholy in what was known as The Great Repatriation. The present authorities’s immigration crackdown, together with the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate affect on Latinx communities, makes it really feel like historical past is repeating itself.
The casual raids in the course of the Melancholy led to the deportation of about 1.8 million folks for supposedly stealing U.S. jobs. In a grave injustice, together with current immigrants from Mexico, roughly 60 p.c of these deported have been truly Americans of Mexican ancestry. A aim of Sunday’s caravan was to focus on and reenact the U.S. authorities’s unfair therapy of Mexicans, together with that compelled expulsions of Individuals from their very own nation.
“The primary parade was due to pleasure and independence however [it was also] a cry of, ‘We belong right here too and we’re current right here too,’” stated an organizer with Bridges/Puentes who requested to be recognized as Vanessa. “Irrespective of what number of occasions this immigration system is ready as much as discriminate us and all migrants, we’re right here, we exist and we’re stunning.”
Vanessa stated the South Chicago neighborhood, which is dwelling to many households who have been half the primary Mexican immigration wave within the Nineteen Twenties, is a really bikeable neighborhood and plenty of residents use bikes to traverse the massive space, particularly lower-income individuals who don’t personal automobiles. She added that South Chicago is positioned near the Lakefront Path (it’s additionally close to the Burnham Greenway), and the presence of Divvy stations and, extra just lately, dockless electrical scooters, has improved transportation entry. The neighborhood can be served by the Metra Electrical District line.
Christine Perez, who biked down from Pilsen to indicate help for the neighborhood, stated she felt secure using within the caravan as a result of the occasion was well-organized and inclusive. Organizers took “corking” intersections, holding up visitors till the group of contributors had handed via, and had trip marshals in entrance and in again of the caravan to maintain the crew collectively. “The roads are a bit bumpy however we’re robust riders,” Perez stated. “It’s the ‘no [person] left behind’ mannequin.”
Perez stated she desires folks to see the great thing about South Chicago and its as native tradition whereas using via the realm. “South Chicago is a really divested neighborhood with a robust mixture of Mexican and Black [neighbors],” she stated. “It doesn’t have as a lot help and a focus because it ought to have.”
Justin Williams, who biked from Washington Park to take part, stated the caravan highlighted the significance of equitable transportation on the South and East Sides of town, particularly for Black and Brown communities reduce off from primary assets like meals, faculties and now, COVID-19 testing. “Transportation cuts via so many points: [Issues of access to resources] solely turn into heightened if you don’t have a number of types of transportation,” he stated. Williams has helped native teams arrange meals distribution occasions over the summer time for communities going through meals insecurity in the course of the pandemic.
Matt T., who’s Mexican and lives in Tri-Taylor, stated he attended the trip to indicate solidarity with the neighborhood in South Chicago and convey consideration to the injustices introduced on by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Trump administration. “I felt this was an essential time [to show support], given the current information of the therapy in ICE services,” Matt stated, referring to a new Congressional report that discovered the company often offers detained immigrants poor medical care and makes use of segregation as punishment. He stated he was pleased with the turnout, which consisted of a small group of individuals on bikes adopted by greater than ten automobiles with occupants waving Mexican flags. “It was stunning factor to really feel a part of the neighborhood whereas additionally exporting the picture of it.”
The caravan looped across the space, ending on the Schafer Park within the East Aspect. Elotes, enchiladas and snow cones have been served, and contributors gathered for a symbolic exercise to abolish ICE. Organizers introduced out a big ice dice and invited everybody to destroy the dice. Youngsters, apprehensive at first, joined in to hammer away bits of ice that flung into the park. Dad and mom, organizers and caravan contributors additionally joined in, breaking apart the ice till simply small items have been left. “It took a neighborhood to smash this ice. Collectively we will abolish ICE!” Vanessa instructed the group of about 30.
The caravan was a real show of neighborhood effort and Mexican pleasure, and the rising need for folk to face up for what social justice appears to be like like in their very own means, which we noticed loads of this summer time with bike protests and community rides. It additionally celebrated the lengthy historical past of the neighborhood and the way actions like these and assist put it on the map for town at giant.
“This can be a second of pleasure of our legacy within the metropolis but in addition it’s a cry to consideration that none are free till all are free and that although we may be out right here with our freedoms, to trip round on our bikes and in our automobiles, the system that offers us these freedoms additionally says it’s OK to detain kids in cages, so how are we free?” Vanessa instructed me. “That is only a caravan, it’s not going to alter the world, however we hope we will a minimum of start to alter this consciousness and to grasp that we have to be working collectively.”