For Our Fallen: Vigil for Victims of Violence in Chicago & Protest Against Police Brutality on Dec. 17

Chicago—(ENEWSPF)—December 12, 2014 – Each year, The Chicago Light Brigade holds a memorial for victims of violence in Chicago. This year’s event will take place on Wednesday, December 17th at 6:30 PM in Congress Plaza, at the intersection of Congress Pkwy and Michigan Ave. The gathering is not only a vigil for Chicagoans who were killed in 2014, but also a protest of the role police play in maintaining the culture of violence that has taken so many lives in our city.

“There’s a mythology that surrounds police violence,” says Chicago Light Brigade member Kelly Hayes, “glorifying cops who push the limits of the law as beleaguered protectors of the public, when in reality, violent cops are on the streets every day, perpetuating everything they claim to be protecting us from. If we continue to accept this fictional separation between street crime and murders that are legitimized by the state, we’ll never break the cycle.”

“Police make the disposability of black and brown lives a state sanctioned reality,” says Chicago Light Brigade member and teacher Jerica Jurado, who spoke at last year’s vigil. “How do you even explain to a child that their disposability is grounded in case law? We can’t expect young people to thrive in a society where their lives can be taken without consequence, and that’s a reality that hasn’t changed over the course of time, whether we’re talking about a noose or a policeman’s bullet.”

December 17th is the 63rd anniversary of the filing of the original We Charge Genocide petition, presented to the United Nations in 1951, which documented 153 racial killings and other human rights abuses, mostly by the police.

Speakers at the vigil will include members of Chicago’s 2014 We Charge Genocide (WCG) delegation to the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT). In November, WCG presented a report to UNCAT in Geneva documenting Chicago Police violence. In their concluding observations, UNCAT stated they are “particularly concerned at the reported current police violence in Chicago, especially against African American and Latino young people who are allegedly being consistently profiled, harassed and subjected to excessive force by Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers.”

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As in years past, this event will include a collection of imagery meant to honor those lost. This year it will also include imagery aimed at challenging state sanctioned violence. 

The Chicago Light Brigade is a network of community organizers and radical activists who are committed to supporting Chicago’s grass roots struggles with creative tactics, skill sharing, and mutual aid. This year the group is particularly focused on the defense of public education and the deincarceration of our youth.


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