Chicago, IL - Chicago activists, including those from the immigrant rights and Chicano movements, rallied at the Dirksen Federal building on June 16 in solidarity with veteran Chicano activist, Carlos Montes. Montes was raided by the Los Angeles County Sherriff and FBI on charges of a firearm code violation. They seized his personal effects and over 40 years worth of political movement documentation.
The Chicago protest, which coincided with a court appearance by Montes in Los Angeles was one of 19 actions held across the U.S. to demand the charges are dropped.
“After 9/11, [the government] came after the Mexicanos,” said Emma Lozano of Sin Fronteras. “If you look like a Mexican, you’re considered a terrorist.” Lozano compared the raid on Montes’ house to that of the Immigration Customs Enforcement raids on undocumented Latinos.
“This battle, this struggle, this lucha is not over,” stated Magda Castaneda of Comité Anti-Militarización. “The attack on Carlos Montes is an attack on the immigrant rights movement and the Chicago movement for equality. Join with us and stop attacks on Chicano and immigrant rights activists! Stop attacks on anti-war and international solidarity activists!”
The night before, the Committee Against Political Repression hosted a teach-in which included showing the movie Walkout, which depicts Montes in the East L.A. High Schools Walkout of 1968. Maria Pizarro, a leader in the immigrants' rights movement, and Hector Gamboa, one of the founders of the Chicano movement in Chicago, spoke about the history of the Chicano movement. Stephanie Weiner, one of the 23 activists subpoenaed to a grand jury, spoke about the FBI attack on Carlos Montes and the immigrant rights movement.