Immigrant Rights Advocates Assaulted During Mayday March
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 called 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.
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