Solidarity Action-Protest the Arrests at May Day March

Meet at 10:00am (Corner of Wabash and Jackson)
Press Conference is scheduled for 10:30am

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) used marshals and police to assault participants in the Mayday March. Marshals obstructed groups of marchers, blocking them from being able to walk or to pass on either side of the street, and directed police to kettle specific groups of people whose messaging was not convenient. Eventually, marshals signaled out Ze (Jose Garcia), an undocumented organizer and outspoken critic of ICIRR. ICIRR and SEIU marshals physically restrained him and signaled the police to arrest him and Anne Wooton. Ze is also currently fighting his deportation proceedings. This is a politically motivated attack intended to suppress dissent and to control people’s autonomous participation in a public event.

Join Moratorium on Deportations Campaign (MDC) to show solidarity for all those pushed, tackled and intimidated during the march and to hold the police and so called social justice organizations accountable. We cannot accept that any organization would resort to the use of state violence as a way to control a public event or people’s political ideas and expressions.

Ze’s statement at the press conference

Footage of the arrest

Press Release:
For Immediate Release
May 2, 2014 at 10:30am
Press Conference

Immigrant Rights Advocates Assaulted During Mayday March

WHAT: Press Conference
WHEN: Friday, May 2 at 10:30am
WHERE: 36 S. Wabash (ICIRR Headquarters)

WHY:
Chicago, IL – Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) used event marshals and police to assault peaceful participants during the Mayday March. Marshals obstructed groups of marchers, blocking them from being able to walk or to pass on either side of the street, and directed police to kettle specific groups of people. Eventually, marshals singled out Jose Garcia, pushing him and grabbing his banner repeatedly. They physically restrained him and called police officers to remove him from the march. The officers arrested Jose Garcia and Ann-Meredith Wootton. Jose Garcia is a long-time undocumented organizer who is also battling deportation proceedings.

The attack on Mr. Garcia is clearly politically motivated, as he is a member of the organization Moratorium on Deportations Campaign, an outspoken critic on ICIRR’s position on immigration reform. The actions perpetrated by this coalition are not a one-time occurrence. ICIRR has a record of calling the police on undocumented activists who disagree with them. In 2012, ICIRR staff signaled police to forcefully remove veteran DREAMer José Herrera from a public event because he was giving a radio interview that disagreed with the official ICIRR position. Mr. Herrera was also facing deportation proceedings at the time.

A full report on the arrests will be presented at the press conference, as well as an open statement denouncing these actions and holding the organizations accountable.

Activists will be available for interviews.

Press Contacts:
José Herrera, 773-632-9992
Rozalinda Borcila, 813-789-0123
Moratorium On Deportations Campaign (MDC)

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