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Immigrant Rights Advocates Protest Before NATO

Immigrant rights activists protested Tuesday before the NATO Summit kicks off in Chicago this weekend.

Bryan Pfeifer, NATO Protester (Photo by Julieta Sholinyan)

They gathered at the Congress Center, 525 W. Van Buren Street, before marching five miles from Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission, located at 344 W. 6th Street, to the Detained Immigration Court Building for a candlelight vigil. The events were organized by the Wisconsin Bailout People Movement.

“After deporting over one million immigrants, President Barack Obama realized that he is in an election year and has to do something to recuperate the votes he has lost,” said Jorge Mujica with the Wisconsin Bailout People Movement.

“Being in the U.S. without papers is not a crime, it’s an administrative fault,” he said.

Protester Bryan Pfeifer commented on the presence of the NATO Summit in Chicago.

“We’re here to support the anti-NATO activists and the wonderful people coming out from around the world who want to fight for a world free of poverty, racism, war and stop the banks and the war machines from destroying planet Earth.”

Pfeifer, like other protesters, was keen on one major issue—putting an immediate stop to raids and the deportation of immigrants.

Natalie Whalberg, a protester who said she was with Occupy Chicago, was present at the event. “Occupy Chicago stands in solidarity with anyone who is protesting NATO,” she said.

Most of the immigrant rights protesters said they are hopeful that this rally will raise awareness and bring to light the struggles regarding the deportation and legalization of illegal immigrants to Chicagoans, NATO representatives and other out-of-town protesters.

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