Press Statement/ Date: August 18, 2017
Contact person: Barbara Ransby
R3 Contact email: ResistReimagineRebuild@gmail.com
Chicago’s R3 Coalition will hold Rally at Site of White Supremacy in Bronzeville
Saturday, August 19th at 12noon
Stephen A. Douglas Tomb and Monument, 636 E. 35th
Chicago’s social justice community stands in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville. One week ago we witnessed a violent rampage by white supremacists through the campus of University of Virginia and the streets of Charlottesville prompted by the planned removal of a statue paying tribute to the Confederate leader, Robert E. Lee. The terror left one young woman dead and scores injured. These forces have been given encouragement by the racist and xenophobic remarks of the 45th President of the United States.
As a continuation of the protests organized by other groups last weekend, the R3 Coalition (Resist. Reimagine. Rebuild), a progressive coalition of 32 groups, will hold a rally at the controversial Douglas Tomb, 636 E. 35th Street. Douglas was a 19th century Illinois politician who lobbied for the expansion of slavery while owning a 3000 acre cotton plantation in Lawrence County Mississippi with over 123 enslaved people. After garnered great wealth from his family’s human chattel he then provided the initial land endowment to start the University of Chicago, which the university continues to benefit from today.
Students at the University of Chicago have been lobbying the school’s administration to initiate a plan for reparations, as other universities that benefitted from slavery have done. For all these reasons, R3 felt that Stephen A. Douglas’ Tomb and monument in the African American neighborhood of Bronzeville was an appropriate site for our rally against white supremacy and to stand in solidarity with Charlottesville. Slavery was not a benign institution but a bloody system rooted in greed and white supremacy. We live with its brutal legacy. This current political climate has animated that fact. While we cannot erase America’s racist history we can work together to build a better future. Saturday’s action is a part of a national day of action against white supremacy called by the national MAJORITY coalition and the Movement for Black Lives.
Guy Emerson Mount and Caine Jordan, Reparations at UChicago (RAUC)
Lesley Williams, Jewish Voice for Peace
Kofi Ademola, Black Lives Matter Chicago
Adom Getachew, Black Youth Project 100 and R3
Ashley Bruce, Fight for $15
Genoveva Ramirez, Organized Communities Against Deportations