On Aug. 27, scores of Chicagoans rallied and marched in Lincoln Square to protest against hate graffiti scrawled across the neighborhood the previous day. On a muggy and overcast afternoon, the crowd gathered at Waters Elementary School, 4540 N. Campbell Ave., for a preliminary rally before marching to a nearby park.
Emily Friend is a 38-year old administrator at a private school, and a resident of the city's nearby North Center area. She rode her bike to the rally with
her 1-1/2 year old daughter, Althea.
"I'm here because I feel that we need to show that the people who left the graffiti do not stand for the citizens of this neighborhood and this city," Friend said. "I want my children to know that hatred and intolerance is not the norm and is not acceptable, and that we need to stand up when we see injustice happening around us.
"I'm Jewish, and I feel that we have even more of a responsibility to stand up," Friend continued. "We come from a tradition that demands we step up for the disenfranchised."
One Chicago man at the rally did not want to give his name for this article.
Asked why he came to the march, the man said, "I am against hate speech and I value the diversity in my neighborhood and in this neighborhood, and I wanted to show my support for my neighbors."
Asked about his thoughts on the current political climate, he continued, "I'm against white supremacy and for diversity. I think diversity makes us more strong. I think there are underlying issues, but the current president is not doing enough (to address these issues). I think his response to the white supremacists and Charlottesville was not enough. He was tacitly approving those people.
"For this issue, I don't think it's a partisan issue," he concluded.
Felix Wohrstein, 61, retired, lives about a block south of Waters School with his wife, Lynn Weissmiller. An obvious opponent of the current administration in Washington, Worhstein was proudly carrying a sign which proclaimed: "No! In the name of America we refuse to accept a fascist America. www.refusefascism.org "
Asked about his thoughts on the future of the country, Wohrstein said, "The crime of the Germans was not just electing Hitler, but in going along. We can't just go along. The first step is to fight racism and bigotry."
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