Updated: Aug 27, 2018
Several of us were already scheduled to participate in The Evolution of the Political Machine event when we made the final decision to form this Our Revolution affiliate. When we realized the event was on August 28th, the 55th anniversary of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech, we knew the event was meant to be our inaugural Illinois for All event. RoRoSoBo Blue shares our vision and kindly allowed us to co-sponsor. We later realized the date of our launch also marks the 50th anniversary of Mayor Richard J. Daley's 1968 crackdown on anti-war protesters at the DNC convention, where he deployed 27,000 state and federal officers. The situation spiraled out of control, with the officers beating and gassing the demonstrators, as well as newsmen and doctors who had come to help. The ensuing riot, known as the “Battle of Michigan Avenue,” was caught on television, and sparked a change in Americans’ attitudes towards the war. The ghost of the quintessential machine boss looms over us still, making this the perfect day to embark on this journey.
As he advocated for equal housing in Chicago, Dr. King realized the power of the machine to create highly unequal conditions. Even if the discriminatory nature of machine laws were not as blatant as in the South, the slums it created are unconscionable. The machine functions by treating Dr. King’s three evils - racism, materialism, and militarism - as virtues. The machine overwhelms the will of the people by dividing, conquering, and disenfranchising. On this anniversary we come together to fight back for our voice, equal representation, and our right to exist.
Freedom to speak. Freedom to protest. Freedom from oppression and discrimination. Freedom to dream and to learn. Freedom to be well. We’re fighting for freedom for all people, for all of Illinois.
The fight against the machine is the fight for freedom, democracy, and equality. We are freedom fighters in the spirit of Fannie Lou Hamer, and freedom fighters do not suffer the manipulations of the machine. We have a higher calling. We are unbought and unbossed. We invite you all to join us and look forward to sharing this message on this highly significant day.