The Chicago tradition of cruising the city’s streets for Mexican Independence Day dates back to the 1980s, but the celebration took a turn when police closed off major streets in historically Latino neighborhoods.
The roadblocks ultimately detoured motorists downtown by Trump Tower, where hundreds lined up to honk and wave Mexican flags “as a display of defiance and cultural pride,” Chicago Now reports.
According to the site:
In recent years, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) has also blocked major east-west thoroughfares for Latino residents during their cultural observations. These past two weekends, 10th district police blocked 26th St. in the Mexican neighborhood of Little Village, parked their squad cards in key intersections and prohibiting motorists from driving on their main road for more than one mile. …
Little Village is deemed a No Cruising Zone by CPD since 2004, which means that on the third time that a driver passes the same location within a one-hour span, they can get pulled over and ticketed.
CPD claimed in an email to Chicago Now that the barricades on 26th street and 25th street in Little Village was a necessary precaution because “police were attempting to clear the area for post clean-up from the Parade.” Chicago Now contends “there was no parade or public event taking place this weekend.”
Regardless, the police barricades and others on the city’s North Side convinced folks on Facebook to organize a show of force downtown.
“The people that like to go out and feel the vibe we bring by celebrating together will find a place to do it no matter what,” Jonathan Sandoval posted to Facebook with pictures from Sunday night spectacle. “If the police shut down our communities and don’t let us celebrate in peace in our own communities, we are going to go where we can make a statement.
“What better place than downtown?”
Others like Sal Lopez posted video of the protest to YouTube.
The footage shows hundreds of vehicles honking with large Mexican flags flying. Several vehicles blasted Spanish music as revelers stood on moving cars and defied traffic laws with huge burnouts and other stunts.
Lopez and other participants also took turns recording themselves flipping the middle finger to Trump Tower, some screaming profanities in Spanish.
The melee included fireworks detonated between downtown buildings, numerous motorcyclists pulling wheelies, and plenty of folks dancing and waving flags in the middle of the street.
Several of the partiers also dangled the decapitated head of Donald Trump from their vehicles as they hooped and hollered into the night.