The day after Chicagoans shut down O’Hare Airport to force the release of detained refugee families and resist President Trump’s ongoing flurry of executive orders banning refugees and immigrants from Muslim and Arab countries and expanding deportation forces, over 1000 residents of Northwest Chicago suburbs rallied in solidarity with Muslims and Arabs, Jews, women, Black people, LGBTQ people, immigrants and those with disabilities.
The overflow crowd poured from the basement social hall where the events began with music from the Niles West choir and singing from Cantor Jay O’Brien from Congregation Solel in Highland Park. This was followed by a welcome by Dilnaz Waraich of the Muslim Community Center and Lesley Williams of Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago.
Dilnaz Waraich, Muslim Community Center: As various diverse communities around the North Shore, we raise our voices against bigotry because we have seen an increase in Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, misogyny, discrimination against African-Americans, immigrants/refugees, LGBTQ and disabled individuals that have be targeted against. Together we can have our voices heard and make a difference when we collaborate to empower our neighbor.
Lesley Williams of Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago reminded the crowd: “One year ago, Governor Rauner said he doesn’t want Syrian refugees in Illinois. We’re here to tell him to show some moral leadership for once. make Illinois a sanctuary state and refuse to cooperate with Donald Trump’s racist executive orders.”
The mulitfaith, multiracial, intergenerational crowd poured into the streets for a march throughout Morton grove as cars honked their approval.
The crowd returned to the mosque where a roster of community leaders and elected officials addressed the crowd.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky and State Sen. Daniel Biss expressed their commitment to fight for immigrant and refugee communities.
Among the other speakers in addition to Lesley Williams of Jewish Voice for Peace and Dilnaz Waraich of Muslim Community Center were Reverend Michael Nabors of Evanston’s Second Baptist Church, and President of the Evanston NAACP; Sarwar Nasir, President of the Muslim Community Center; Pastor Liz Munoz La Reve, Iglesia Episcopal Nuestra Senora de las Americas; Nashiha Alam, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago; Rabbi Andrea London of Beth Emet; and students, including a Trans student from Niles West High School who talked about the urgency of standing together in solidarity.
Co-sponsored by: Jewish Voice for Peace, the Muslim Community Center, Open Communities, Tzedek Chicago, Iglesia Episcopal Nuestra Senora de las Americas, and the Jewish Reconstuctionist Congregation of Evanston. Planned Parenthood, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Open Communities, Evanston YWCA, League of Women Voters, National Organization of Women, Access Living, Equality Illinois, and Chicago NOW
JVP-Chicago is the local branch of Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jvp.org), a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 200,000 online supporters, over 60 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.