Group formed to keep families together

To the Editor:

In the midst of the national outcry against the Trump administration’s unconscionable separation of children from their parents as they attempt to come to the United States – often escaping political and economic persecution – a small group of Hyde Park and Woodlawn residents met last week at B’Gabs Goodies, 1450 E. 57th St., to chart a course of action on a local level that might make a difference. We call our newly formed group Families Together – South Side. Here are a few of the things we came up with:

• March in solidarity in the 4th on 53rd parade – not everyone will see this letter before the parade, but if you do, come and walk with us as witnesses to this horror and as an act of solidarity in opposition to it.
• Weekly Wednesday protest at Daley Plaza – In homage to the Argentine Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo and all who have gathered in protest of disappeared children, we will meet at Daley Plaza every Wednesday beginning on July 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Wear white in solidarity: Taking another cue from the Argentine Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, we will wear white scarves – head scarves, neck scarves, arm bands, etc. – at both the 4th on 53rd parade and at Daley Plaza
• Donations – This is still a work in progress, as we attempt to sort out the many suggestions we have already received, but we will produce a list of details regarding the most effective places to donate material items and money in order to make the greatest impact.
• Join us – Becoming a member of Families Together – South Side and joining our list serve is as simple as sending an email to gabrielpiemonte@gmail.com

More actions are in the works, so stay tuned. We will keep the Herald informed of any new developments. We must stand together and have faith in the power of local people to respond to these acts of cruelty being perpetrated in our names.

Finally, we want to acknowledge that this abuse of families and especially children of color is taking place in a context within which Black and Brown children are often ripped away from parents unjustly. Be it false police allegations imprisoning parents or social services agencies that can be too quick to take a child from a struggling parent needing support rather than condemnation, we know that as horrible as these actions on the border are, they are part of a larger system that is broken in many different ways. Let’s fight to protect all children and for the respect and support of all families.

Laura Staley
Cindy Pardo
Grace Chan McKibben
Sid Colton
Sonia Csazar
Charlene Hill
Susan Beal
Gabriel Piemonte
on behalf of
Families Together – South Side