Chicagoans rally for an end to racist violence

On June 23, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression organized a rally to remember the victims of the Charleston massacre.

The crowd of about 60 gathered in a circle at downtown’s Federal Plaza. They wielded signs carrying slogans of black liberation and struggle. After reading the names and short biographies of the slain, the mournful airs gave way to determination as the emcees of the event began to bring forth speakers from the crowd.

They spoke on the climate of racism that produced Dylann Roof and police terror nationally, as well as the need not only to take down the confederate flag wherever it flies, but the system that has allowed it to fly for so long. Class was also a topic of the speakers and the need for unity across classes to combat white supremacy.

Volunteer Alejandro Barba, lifetime resident of Chicago, put it into context by saying “I understand that race is one of the main driving factors in the systemic violence, but there is also a system of class that discriminates. I’m Latino, there’s an upper-middle class of Latinos that doesn’t like poor Latinos or immigrants for that matter. There’s a white and a black upper-middle class that doesn’t like poor white and black folks, and the result are these urban ghettoes where folks have to hustle, that’s how people survived day to day, that’s what that word really meant. That’s how you did it in those neighborhoods.”

The Alliance circulated petitions for a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC), which the majority of the crowd was eager to sign .

Gerrit Hatcher, volunteer organizer on the CPAC project, said “we organized this event in solidarity with the victims of Charleston. We came out to have a moment of silence and reflection for the nine victims and also to make the connection between all acts of terror, violence against black people, the desire for their subjugation, and to fight back against that by responding to police crimes and white supremacy.

The rally ended with a call for volunteers as well as the handing out of flyers for an August 29 march for police accountability that People’s World will attend and bring you coverage.

Photo: Joe Iosbaker.



Patrick J. Foote
Patrick J. Foote

Patrick Foote writes occasionally for People's World. At the University of Central Florida, he worked with the Student Labor Action Project organizing around the intersection of student and worker issues. He would go on to work in the labor movement in such organizations as Central Florida Jobs with Justice, AFSCME Council 79, and OUR Walmart.