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Solidarity is not a crime: Chicago rally to defend civil liberties

by staff |
March 11, 2012
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March 10 protest against political repression
March 10 protest against political repression (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Chicago protest against attacks on civil liberties
Chicago protest against attacks on civil liberties

Chicago, IL - Over 100 people rallied and marched here March 10 at Daley Plaza. They came to defend civil liberties, demand an end to suppression of dissent and to call for a stop of government attacks on immigrant, Arab, Muslim, Black and Latino communities.

The coalition includes the defense committees of the anti-war and international solidarity activists under attack by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office, prominent Arab and Muslim organizations, immigrant rights groups and groups preparing to march against the NATO summit when it takes place in Chicago this May.

Protesters first gathered at Daley Plaza, where the historic protest against NATO and the G8 will occur in May. The Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty agenda has waged an eight-month campaign to win the right to march.

Hatem Abudayyeh, one of those whose homes was raided by the FBI in 2010, emceed and called on the movements to unite against all these attacks. Ahmad Rahab, of the Council of American Islamic Relations, urged the groups to oppose Islamophobia, but also to continue to oppose threats of war, such as the U.S. and Israeli moves against Iran.

Alaa Mukahhal of the Immigrant Youth Justice League described the “can’ts” she faced growing up as undocumented in the U.S.: “Can’t get a driver’s license, can’t get aid for college and can’t get a job.”

The protest led into a feeder march for the Coming out of the Shadows rally, where 500 immigrant youth protested in opposition to deportations and to demand full equality, including citizenship.

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