Chicago, IL – Organizers with the Coalition to March on the Democratic National Convention held a press conference outside City Hall on Tuesday morning to speak out against the denial of their permit applications. The Chicago Department of Transportation gave the coalition an alternate route four miles away from where the DNC is scheduled to happen.
“We reject their decision because we have the right to voice the demands of the people within sight and sound of the DNC. We demand a permit to march as a gesture of good faith that the police will not introduce violence into our family-friendly protest.” said Jasmine Smith, a co-chair of the Campaign to Free Incarcerated Survivors of Torture (CFIST), which is a campaign of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.
“Many of the attendees of the DNC are responsible for or complicit in U.S. aggression against other countries including genocide in Palestine, police committing crimes with impunity, mass incarceration, deportations, neglect of LGBTQ and reproductive rights, undermining of workers’ demands, and other injustices against the people,” Smith continued.
“We all have the right to protest within sight and sound of the DNC, but right now, Palestinians should be afforded even more of this right, since the politicians that will be here, including Genocide Joe Biden, are the ones responsible for the almost 30,000 Palestinians who have been killed in Gaza by the U.S.-funded Israeli military since October 7,” said Nazek Sankari with the US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)
Tthe Democratic Party base in Chicago wants a ceasefire, wants to see Israel stop the genocide, wants to see its nominal leader, Joe Biden, stop arming Israel and end U.S. aid to Israel,” Sankari continued.
“We want money for jobs and education, not for wars and occupation. From Palestine to the Philippines, we demand an end to the U.S. war machine,” said Diana Balitaan with Anakbayan Chicago, after explaining how Democratic Party politicians are allied with the reactionary Marcos Duterte regime in the Philippines.
“We’re demanding that the Democrats act and vote on our behalf, on behalf of asylum seekers and all immigrants,” said Maggie Lugo, executive director of the Federation of Michoacan Clubs. “We’re not asking, we’re demanding what we deserve.”
“With or without a permit we are going to be out there. They can’t stop u,” said Regina Russell, member of Mothers Advancing Movements for Abolition and Solidarity (MAMAS) in a written statement.
The coalition will be appealing the decision in court this week, but organizers emphasized that the mass movement will ultimately be responsible for winning the permit.
“This is not our first rodeo,” Joe Iosbaker with CAARPR said in reference to his and other coalition members’ experience organizing marches on NATO and the RNC, as well as mass rallies for all the fights coalition members are involved in.
Iosbaker continued, “We’re going to get a permit because the power of the people is stronger than the people in power.”