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"They wanted to intimidate us, but it backfired"

May 4, 2007 | Page 6

NADIA SOL IRERI UNZUETA CARRASCO is a college student and immigrant rights activist in Chicago. She wrote to Socialist Worker about the protest over the April 24 ICE raid in the Mexican community of Little Village.

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AS SOON as I got out of class, I headed straight towards Albany and 26th Street. It was 6 p.m., so word about a press conference by activists had already gone out.

There were a couple of hundred people there. They closed down 26th Street, one of the busiest streets in the area. A cross with candles had been made on the street. One of my friends had a bullhorn and was chanting, and she got people to give their opinion about the raid and the broader picture of immigrant rights.

The atmosphere was one of anger more than anything. Through their speeches, people emphasized how we have to come out on May 1 and make our demands heard. One woman spoke of how we needed to have better communications networks so that the information goes out faster, and to more people, when things like this raid go down.

There were comments about not going to work on May 1 in order to come to the march. People who hadn't been thinking of missing work were talking about doing so in order to attend.

At one point, a group of people began to march around the cross. They chanted things like "No fronteras, no naciones, alto a las deportaciones" (No borders, no nations, stop deportations) and "El pueblo callado jamás sera escuchado" (If people are silent, they will not be heard).

People remained on the streets until after 10 p.m., even though it started to rain. A religious service was held as well. There was a lot of outrage about the way ICE conducted this operation. They were trying to intimidate us, but it backfired.

Activists used the protest to build the May Day march, promote discussion and awareness about want is going on among youth and the community, and make signs for the march.

The community is preparing itself to continue to fight for legalization for all, an end to raids and deportations, no more Social Security no-match letters, and for the rights all people deserve.

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