Tuesday, May 02, 2006

May Day en Chicago


The earnest young man photographed in downtown Chicago during the May Day parade has something important to say. I thought I would share it with you, although I admit that I am a little puzzled by what he is trying to tell us. To his credit, he has his own message rather than one of those preprinted signs, and it's in English. He gets extra points, too, for holding the American flag just a tad higher than the Mexican one. While the mainstream media is now noticing that radical groups are taking control of the immigrant movement, his serious demeanor reminds us that there are plenty of undocumented immigrants who just want us to understand.

While you would never know it from the photo above, from all accounts the march and rally in Chicago was quite a party. This march seemed to have more to do with celebrating freedom of speech and Chicago's love of parades, however, than rebuilding Anahuac. Sort of like a St. Patrick's Day parade without floats.

Everyone was there, not only Hispanics. The American Indians came sporting feathers. Spokesmen for the undocumented Irish expressed their concerns. Former residents of several African countries could be seen with their flags, as well as a number of well-covered young ladies speaking out for Muslim rights. Plenty of politicians showed up to give speeches at the rally, as well as the Catholic bishop. Perhaps the somewhat Dadaesque flavor of it all was best summed up in the words of one of the rally speakers I heard on live Internet coverage, "Viva Mexico!"

On a troubling note, there was no shortage of signs which read: "Today we March, Tomorrow we Vote." Kind of gives you a new perspective on these--ahem!--"illegal aliens," doesn't it? With all the talk of fake documents, do you think plenty have registered to vote already? Hey, it's Chicago, remember?

Mayor Daley was unable to attend. Clever planning to be on a trip to the Middle East! Protesters in parks and Mayors named Daley don't have a happy history in Chicago. With many of the parade organizers the very same people who gave the current Mayor's father such a terribly hard time during the Days of Rage it was smart for the no-longer Young Mayor Daley to just get out of town.

For some, however, the march might have been labeled as "a day without school." Almost the entire student body from two high schools with principally Hispanic students might have been there--most went missing from classrooms without explanation.

Photo Credit: Araceli Arroyo who posted a number of photos from the march on Flicker under the name of Celikins. Those photos are available under Creative Commons license. Some of those photos are also on her blog where her readers are warned "This work is protected under international copyright laws. Copying, reproducing or distributing this work or any portion thereof constitutes copyright infringement and may be punishable by fine or imprisonment." Ms. Arroyo also has an pictures from the earlier Immigrant's Rights march in Chicago. With photos from Iceland, Paris and Rome, among others, it is unlikely she is an undocumented worker.

1 Comments:

Blogger celikins said...

Thanks for tne use and credit of the picture. You are correct I am not an undocumented worker, born and raised in this country has provided many opportunities and a promising lifestyle that I am greatful for.

May 14, 2006, 1:51:00 AM  

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