Twelve protesters were arrested Tuesday (Feb. 16) morning after protests stopped traffic in downtown Chicago. The protest was led by Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) and spoke out against raids targeting undocumented families in the region.
According to ABC7, the group managed to block traffic on Congress Parkway for more than an hour, starting at 8 a.m. They were specifically protesting the Regional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Field Office.
Demonstrators sat on top of ladders, linked their arms and chained themselves together as they chanted “Unafraid, unafraid.”
“I am here to say that there needs to be an end to raids and deportations,” said Francisco Canuto while inside of the ICE Field Office, according to #NotOneMore, an organization that works to overcome unjust immigration laws. “Agents entered my home under false pretenses, they fingerprinted me and my roommates, and took me into detention. I spent 13 awful days in a detention center that I don’t wish on anyone.”
Other community organizations from the Chicago area joined OCAD in the protest to show solidarity against a misuse of funds and policies by authorities. Assata’s Daughters, Black Youth Project 100, Fearless Leading by the Youth and Palestinian Youth In Action were some of the many groups represented.
“Undocumented people in Chicago and nationally are living in fear daily of being taken from their homes and away from their families. We, as Black American community organizers, can relate to that fear,” members of Assata’s Daughters said in a statement. “Our communities experience that fear when Chicago Police Officers patrol our neighborhoods, stop and frisk us, occupy our schools, and arrest us in mass. Our struggles are distinct but connected.”
Charges are still pending for the twelve protestors that were arrested during the demonstration and the streets were clear as of 9:30 a.m.
Photo Credit: Twitter