Black and Brown Residents of Cicero and Berwyn Join Forces to Protest Racial Injustice

For 3 hours on Sunday, June 07, 2020, African-American and Latino residents of the suburbs of Cicero and Berwyn conducted a several mile protests peaceful protest walk to demonstrate solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement What started as a small protest of approximately 200 people over several hours significantly increased to several hundred participants as African-American and Latino residents and small business owners joined the walk throughout the streets of Cermak.  While there were concerns about potential acts of aggression towards blacks as seen last week in the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods, black residents courageously showed up to represent their community and connect with other people of color. To further express their support for black lives, black participants were honored by walking in the front of the protests while being surround by both Latino and white participants on the perimeter. Black residents were given a chance to speak throughout the demonstration and talked about the need to continually create a similar safe space for blacks to be and breathe like everyone else.

Several stops were taken during the protests, inclusive of  Laramie and 25th street in Cicero, where a young black teenager, Jerome Huey, was killed in 1966 by a white mob. During these stops, community organizers spoke about the need for black and Brown communities to come together to speak out against racial injustice and for police to be defunded. Protesters also called for more community policing in communities to prevent the unjust killings of people of color. Chants in both Spanish and English echoed these sentiments and highlighted that black lives matter.  The peaceful protest concluded with a mention of the names of dozens of black men and women who were slain by police officers and 8 minutes of silence for those individuals, inclusive of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Black residents expressed appreciation for the community organizers and participants for creating a safe space for them and encouraged individuals to take the spirit of the protest to their family and friends to bring about change. Community organizers also urged participants to protect their minds by being careful about what they watch on social media and choosing to focus instead on spreading love in their community. While the protest lasted approximately three hours, the hope is that the love and support expressed between the black and brown community will continue far beyond the protest as the fight for social justice continues.

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