Over twelve-hundred residents and friends of Joliet, including members of Pax Christi Illinois, gathered Saturday, April 6th to march in opposition to any and all possibilities of building a for-profit immigrant prison in the city of Joliet.
As Keith Michael Estrada of the Diocese of Joliet Office for Human Dignity described the event, “[We were] marching in the name of family unity and human dignity, Americans, including those of African, Caucasian, and Hispanic descent, heard the testimonies of people who have already been directly affected by the violence to human dignity caused by these Corrections Corporation of America facilities.”
Participants were urged to “march today, vote tomorrow” as citizens across the state prepare for local elections on April 9th. A number of local politicians and religious leaders spoke at the event, as organizers urged participants to hold elected leaders accountable for positions they take that effect the immigrant community.
Pax Christi Ambassador of Peace Tom Cordaro pointed out, “This is what it means to stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters. It is a good example of being anti-racist peacemakers; following the lead of Latina/o communities and learning to be accountable to people of color.”