Families Belong Together: Chicago

Fifty thousand strong in the streets yesterday, including Mr. A and Kick and I, in the 100-degree heat. I took this photo from my friend Amy’s office window just before the march itself.

For longtime immigrant and labor rights organizer Jorge Mujica, the call to end family separation from non-immigrant sectors of the population is an opportunity to create change at the policy level.

“Today’s march is a reflection of the general disgust at separating families, but this is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “We need to retake discussion of immigration reform and take advantage that public opinion is on our side.”

This was my favorite sign:

#FuckJeff needs to be trending every day

Our children — including those in detention — need to know that people fought back for them. They need to know that people stood up. Tens of thousands of us everywhere. And yeah, it’s not enough to just “get in the streets,” and it’s not enough to yell on Twitter and call our reps and nothing is enough, right now. I think that’s why this week was awful, it just seemed like nothing was enough.

I heard this over and over as we marched, as we sang, as we cheered the firefighters spraying us with cold water around the second turn of the march route: “It just feels like nothing’s getting through.” Of course it feels like that. Nothing is.

November, though. November. All fifty thousand strong and millions more besides, for Parkland and the families who’ve lost their children and for the Supreme Court theft and the grifting and the puss-grabbing and the Muslim ban, for all of it and all of us.

We open the doors of the cages we built and we let ourselves out, however we can, as many times as we have to until everybody’s free. It was blindingly hot on Saturday as we walked through the streets. A pair of Native American artists in full regalia danced next to a sign that read, “No one is illegal on stolen land.” Of course it feels like nothing’s getting through.

It should feel like that. So we keep marching. So we keep moving forward, no matter how hot it gets, no matter how many people try to push us back.

A.

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