La comunidad latinx se une para defender vidas afroamericanas ante protestas en Chicago


Maria Guerrero| La DePaulia

Un hombre lleva una bandera mexicana en una motocicleta detrás de la caravana de La Villita. A man wears a Mexican flag on a motorcycle behind the Little Village caravan.

Chants of “your fight is my fight” were heard from the Latinx community as they gathered in solidarity for the death of George Floyd on Saturday, May 30. 

Waving their flags in front of the Discount Mall located in La Villita, the protesters made it clear that they were there to support their fellow African-American community members, as silence could not provide a solution to the injustice that people of color have faced. for years in the United States.  

Paul Callejas, a La Villita resident who sits on the Enlace Chicago board , said he stands in solidarity with the African-American community as police abuse is also a problem within his community. 

“It is very important to show solidarity, because many of the same injustices that you see happening to African Americans [also] are happening in the Latinx community,” Callejas said. “Injustice for someone is injustice for everyone, so it is really important to continue fighting for a safer space.”

As they made their caravan to join others in the Federal Plaza at 2 pm, one goal was expressed: to make known the African American lives who have perished at the hands of police brutality, regardless of your background.

“We need to come together because we have to stop separating,” said Camila Ruiz, a junior at Little Village Lawndale High School. “The system is made for us to separate, but when we come together, great things can happen. We have to realize that we need to help each other, with the support of each other, our voices can be heard much louder ”. 

Ruiz said she wants the Latinx community to be more understanding and supportive of each other.

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  • Oficiales con porras y escudos se enfrentan a los manifestantes. Officers with batons and shields face protesters.

  • Un oficial está junto a una ventana rota durante la protesta. A police officer stands next to a broken window during the protest.

  • A CPD car burns while protesters look on.

  • Un hombre lleva una bandera mexicana en una motocicleta detrás de la caravana de La Villita. A man wears a Mexican flag on a motorcycle behind the Little Village caravan.

  • Una mujer se pone de pie sobre un vehículo ondeando la bandera mexicana. A woman stands on top of a vehicle waving the Mexican flag.

  • Dos mujeres sostienen un letrero en solidaridad con la comunidad afroamericana. Two women hold up a sign in solidarity with the black community.

  • Un manifestante habla con un oficial de policía de Chicago durante la protesta de George Floyd. A protestor speaks to a Chicago police officer during the George Floyd protest.

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“I feel like people want to connect African American issues with the African American community, but there can never be complete peace,” Ruiz said. “There can never be freedom if a group is oppressed, what people don’t realize is that not all lives matter until the lives of African Americans matter. We have to unearth the root of the problem and help each other as brothers and sisters to improve the system for everyone. ” 

Shakeba Reyez, of African American and Mexican descent, is used to witnessing oppression and ignorance.

Reyez explained that although most of his Latinx friends showed their support for BLM and participated in the protests, “Some have been making ignorant comments, making invalid points on social media, they are excusing why the BLM movement is ‘dumb’ or even confusing the looting with the death of George Floyd. ” 

There are still Mexican parents with an old mentality who do not accept our African Americans,” added Reyez. “It is necessary to keep an open mind today so that they can learn about our side of the spectrum. Brown and dark skin must hold together because we are the most vulnerable and abused. ” 

Looking out into the crowd, thousands of protesters of all colors and backgrounds marched holding signs that read “Silence is Violence” and chanting “I can’t breathe,” a phrase that has become central to the Black Lives Matter movement as a reminder of George Floyd’s last words – just like Eric Garner’s in 2014

Others knelt in front of the police officers, raised their hands and even observed a minute’s silence for the lives killed, as the protests in Chicago were just a few of many that took place in cities across the country.

But as the number of protesters and police increased, anger and tension grew, transforming the peaceful protest in Chicago into what Mayor Lori Lightfoot called ” criminal conduct .” 

Looters began targeting stores like Macy’s in the Marshall Field building, Nike, and a 7-Eleven near Lake and Dearborn streets. They also broke into banks like Fifth Third, while other restaurants and businesses were vandalized. 

Windows were smashed, CTA buses were vandalized and other police cars were damaged, including some that were set on fire. 

At the Lightfoot press conference on Sunday, Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown reported that six people were shot, one was killed, 240 were arrested and 20 police officers were injured since the day of the protest on Saturday. . 

“When you or anyone else behaves in this way, we all lose by fighting the same forces of oppression that we are providing, against the false validation they crave,” Lightfoot said. 

Lightfoot implemented a curfew on Saturday night from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday, as protesters continued to damage property and the number of clashes between police and protesters increased. The National Guard was also called in, adding to the police presence of the Illinois State Police and Chicago Police. 

While some expressed their displeasure at the property damage, others argued that these actions were more than justified. 

Camila Barrientos, a DePaul sophomore and president of DALE, attended the protests Saturday. 

“The group I was with had raised money to buy supplies for those protesting and those in need … from food and water to first aid kits, tear gas solution, hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, cards so they know their rights and more, “Barrientos said.” Police were starting to block intersections early on, bringing in more cars, horses and men as time went on. ” 

She mentioned that the loss of life is worth more than the damage done to the property. 

“African Americans have every right and have already exhausted all other options,” he said. “African Americans built this country, from the bottom up, for free, and they carry it on their shoulders centuries later. So-called looting and vandalism are not human rights violations. The senseless murder of African-Americans is, over and over again. ”