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Coalition calls on the city of Chicago to grant permits for march on Democratic National Convention

By Zhenya Polozova

Bev Tang, a member of the International League of People's Struggle, urges mass march on the DNC.

Chicago, IL – The Coalition to March on the DNC hosted a press conference at Chicago City Hall the morning of September 19, calling on the city to issue a previously-denied permit recognizing the right of working and oppressed people to march within sight and sound of the August 2024 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

“According to the Park District, permits are not being given out for 2024 until November,” said Kobi Guillory, co-chair of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. “We do not believe that events like Lollapalooza, Riot Fest, or the DNC don't already have permits for next year. Bringing people together cannot be something only the rich and powerful are allowed to do. The Democratic Party won the 2020 election in large part due to the self-organization of our diverse communities, yet the current administration has yet to fulfill its campaign promises.”

“We condemn in the strongest way possible this attack on our right to protest, because that’s what this is,” said Liz Rathburn, member of Students for a Democratic Society. “This is political repression aimed at the student movement, the movement for community control of the police, the labor movement and everyone else represented in our coalition.”

“The Black and brown communities are constantly being approached by the Democrats about our vote,” said Maggie Lugo, executive director of Casa Michoacán. “It’s time they also listened to us and act on our vote.”

“I joined this coalition because I believe that our communities deserve the things that actually keep us safe like education, housing, good-paying jobs, clean neighborhoods, a healthy environment and access to healthy foods,” said Russel Dahlman, a Starbucks worker. “I want to tell Biden and the Democratic Party: ‘Stop interfering with workers’ right to strike and our communities right to protest.’”

“Almost every single year for the last few decades, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product has gone up. But every year, we have decreased public spending, even as politicians increase spending on the military and police,” said a member of the Chicago chapter of the Black Alliance for Peace. “We are told that the Democrats are better than the Republicans, but their actions demonstrate that they are just as aligned with the Republicans when it comes to war spending.”

“When we say money for jobs, housing, health, and education, we are voicing the demands of the people who are supposed to have a voice in the government that represents them,” said Bev Tang, member of the International League of People's Struggle. “They are basic legitimate needs that we with the March on the DNC Coalition believes everyone across this country and the globe deserves.”

Coalition organizers called for a permit to be granted within the next two weeks as they begin organizing the family-friendly march They stated that they are sending letters to the Parks District and Transportation Department, are prepared to file FOIA requests to view the city's response to other permit applications such as for Lollapalooza and the DNC, and will proceed with a lawsuit if necessary.

Coalition to March on the DNC groups include the Arab American Action Network, Anakbayan, Black Lives Matter – Chicago, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Chicago Committee For Human Rights in the Philippines, Federación de Clubes Michoacanos en Illinois, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, League of United Latin American Citizens, Little Village Lawndale High School FightBack!, Malaya Chicago, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, Pueblo Sin Fronteras/Familia Latina Unida, Students for a Democratic Society at UIC, Starbucks Workers United Chicago, and the US Palestinian Community Network.

#ChicagoIL #DNC2024