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Why I’m Joining Father Mike on the Dan Ryan

July 3, 2018




July 3, 2018


Why I’m Joining Father Mike on the Dan Ryan

A statement by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.

A few days ago, I joined more than 50,000 people – black, white, red, yellow and brown – as we marched through the streets of downtown Chicago to protest the shameful treatment of asylum seekers and their children at the U.S.-Mexico border.


There is a border in Chicago, too, a border between the struggling neighborhoods of the South and West sides and downtown where the money, opportunity, clean streets and shiny schools are.


It is a border drawn by redlining, shuttered schools and economic segregation and fortified by a towering wall of government indifference and neglect.


On the black and brown side of the border, homes are devalued, and mental health clinics and dozens of schools closed.


On the black and brown side of the border are nine communities endangered by unemployment rates of more than 20 percent and poverty rates hovering around 40 percent.


On the black and brown side of the border, drugs and guns flow in and jobs flow out.


On Saturday, July 7, I will proudly join Father Michael Pfleger and march down the Dan Ryan Expressway to highlight the shameful treatment of Chicago’s border towns.


Father Mike should be cheered, not jeered, for bringing the church alive and taking it to the streets where it is needed most.


We want the South and West sides to look like the North Side. Hospitals and schools open, not closed. Parks and ball fields maintained, not neglected. Safe streets, not battlefields. Jobs, not food pantries.


We intend to put our bodies and minds and hearts on the line on Saturday and no amount of official threats of arrest will stop us. No jail can contain us.


Jesus was a border baby, born under a death warrant. Mary and Joseph fled with him across the border to save his life.


We are all border babies and we are tired of running for our lives.




Don Terry

Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.


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