CHICAGO — Hundreds of Chicagoans rallied on Saturday, January 16, for immigration reform, celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commitment to racial and economic justice from the packed pews of First Baptist Congregational Church — the same church that hosted King, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and others.
Reverend George W. Daniels welcomed African Americans, Latinos, workers and people of faith to his historic church to call for “full citizenship and full employment for full equality,” while Rev. Jesse Jackson recalled that King spent his final birthday in struggle, calling job creation and immigration reform King’s unfinished work.
To hear Jackson speak and see photos of the event, watch the slideshow above. (Be sure to enter full-screen mode by clicking lower right arrows button; text continues below.)
“The fight for immigration reform, above all, is an effort to improve the lives of all workers and their families,” Ron Powell, president of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 881, reminded the audience.
Labor leaders, community groups and Congresspeople Jan Schakowsky, Luis Gutierrez and Danny Davis joined the call for a federal jobs creation and immigration reform, but pledged no specific action.
Saturday’s event was sponsored by a large coalition of labor and advocacy organizations:
Action Now, Archdiocese of Chicago, BCTGM Local 1, Chicago CLUW, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Chicago Jobs with Justice, Chicago Worker’s Collaborative, Citizen Action IL, Clergy Speaks Interdenominational, Familias Unidas, AFL-CIO IL, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Casa Michoacan, La Capilla del Barrio, National Immigrant Justice Center, Priests for Justice for Immigrants, Rainbow PUSH, Rainbow PUSH – Latino Chapter, The Resurrection Project, SEIU Local 1, Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants, South Austin Coalition, Teamsters Local 743, UE Western Region, UFCW 881, and United African Organization.