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Storms can’t dampen Chicago solidarity with Tampa 5

By Liz Rathburn

Chicago rallies during storms in solidarity with the Tampa 5.

Chicago IL – On July 12, despite heavy rain and tornado warnings, more than 50 people rallied in downtown Chicago to demand that the charges on the Tampa 5 be dropped. The protest was part of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression National Day of Action for The Tampa 5’s second court date.

Speakers took their turns denouncing the reactionary Republican agenda and Ron DeSantis. All the while rain poured down and storm sirens began to blare.

Erin Boyle of SDS said, “We are living through an unprecedented reversal of progressive policies in public education. We will not bury our heads in the sand while reactionaries like DeSantis dismantle policies like affirmative action and diversity equity and inclusion offices.”

Boyle continued, “The right to protest and peacefully assemble is at the core of any functioning democracy. When we organize collectively, we have the power to transform our campuses and fight back against reactionary Republicans.”

As the speech wrapped up the crowd retreated beneath the eaves of the John Kluczynski Federal Building. There they ended the rally with chants of “Free, free, the Tampa 5!” and “Dare to struggle! Dare to win!”

Apollo Blair, speaking to Fight Back! said. “If a tornado couldn’t beat our solidarity, nothing will. We won’t stop fighting till the charges have been dropped!”

#ChicagoIL #PeoplesStruggles #PoliticalRepression #Tampa5