Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ID sweep triggers protests

The Chicago Tribune reports:
In what could be a warm-up for a planned immigration march next week, about 300 protesters shouted and waved signs for several hours in Little Village on Tuesday after a federal raid inside a shopping plaza.

Officials described the afternoon raid as a crackdown on a ring suspected of selling fake identification in the Southwest Side neighborhood, part of a years-long effort to control a persistent problem connected to illegal immigration.

Neighborhood residents and local activists, however, saw the action in the heart of Chicago's Mexican community as an attempt to intimidate people in advance of a planned May 1 march to Daley Plaza in protest of recent federal raids nationwide. Word of the Tuesday raid quickly spread through the neighborhood, with organizers of next week's march arriving with ready-made signs, drums and megaphones. The crowd closed the intersection of 26th Street and Albany Avenue for hours, chanting in a semicircle as Chicago police directed traffic away.
"They're trying to scare us," said Juan Luis Martinez, 22, a Little Village resident, predicting the action would pull more people into the streets next Tuesday. "It won't work."
Imagine that.