Photos: Fair Wage Protesters March On Trump Tower
By aaroncynic in News on Oct 12, 2015 9:36PM
Hundreds of demonstrators marched through River North to Trump Tower Monday demanding fair wages, immigration reform and racial equality just before the kick off of the city’s Columbus Day parade.
Organizers say they targeted the real estate mogul’s edifice that looms large over the Chicago River because of his continued racist remarks towards immigrants on his campaign for the GOP nomination for president, and picked Columbus Day “to reclaim the dignity of immigrants and indigenous people.”
“We are not here because of the very beautiful climate of Chicago,” said Jorge Mujica, a labor an immigrants rights activist with Arise Chicago who unsuccessfully challenged Alderman Danny Solis last election. “We came here to work. Immigration is nothing but workers looking for jobs, and that’s what we’re doing here.”
Trump, who’s been the loudest voice among the fifteen-plus candidates vying for the GOP nomination for president, has made a multitude of racist remarks towards immigrants, and has called for the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants, an end to “birthright” citizenship, and a large wall along the U.S. Mexico border.
Protesters marched from Carpenter's Hall on Erie in River North to the front of Trump Tower, and even tried to give a piñata to building security, who refused to take it. They then marched to Wacker Drive where they chanted, sang, and read an excerpt from a letter a 5-year old girl gave to Pope Francis during his visit to Washington D.C.
Demonstrators with the Fight for 15 movement, who organized the protest, said that many immigrant workers in low wage jobs are treated poorly.
“Everyday I see humble people working to earn a decent wage, fighting so they can have the freedom that they need to live a better life,” said Cecilia Valasquez, a McDonald’s employee. “We the immigrants make millions of dollars for the fast food industry, but even then they treat us as second class citizens.”
Solo Littlejohn, a cook at a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Cicero who makes $8.25 an hour and is part of the Fight for 15 movement, said that low wage workers would not embrace Trump or any candidate that doesn’t share their views on racial equality and immigration reform.
“At a time in our history when leaders are using derogatory rhetoric against immigrants, want to ignore the groundswell of demand for $15 and a union, and refuse to address the costs of deep-rooted racism in America, now more than ever, it is our duty to come together and fight back with hope, justice and solutions that are true to our American identity,” said Littlejohn.
A poll released earlier this month by the National Employment Law Project showed that 65 percent of those surveyed were more likely to vote in next year’s election if a candidate supported a $15 an hour minimum wage.