Never Again Is Happening Now
Japanese Americans March in Chicago
• Japanese Americans voiced, “Never again is happening now!” and marched in the downtown Chicago on June 30th to protest the Trump Administration’s Zero Tolerance Policy that brought back the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII, the taking of their belongings, property, and civil rights. Nearly eight decades later, more than 2,300 children of illegal immigrants were separated from their parents, and President Trump’s Executive Order 13841 cleared the way for indefinite family detentions.
• Ryan Yokota, who took a leadership to organize a demonstration march for the first time in the Japanese American (JA) community, said, “ We felt a great deal of outrage at the loss of humanity and the violation of civil and human rights that is being displayed in U.S. government policies.” He also said, “The idea of separating small children far from their families in various jail facilities throughout the country couldn’t help but outrage me both as a parent, and as someone whose own family had been incarcerated in the JA WWII concentration camps.”
• About 150 Japanese Americans with the people from Asian American communities gathered at Chicago Bronze Cow, close to the south entrance of the Chicago Cultural Center. While they were waiting for a march starting at 10 a.m., they flocked under shade trees to escape from the heat wave.
• One of them was Masato Shinsako, who brought a handmade
sign with photos from Tule Lake Relocation Center. Sansei (third generation)
Shinsako’s parents and grandparents were put into Tule Lake, and he was
born in there in 1943.
• Richard Meher, who has an American father and a Japanese
mother, was born and raised in Yokohama, Japan. Now he resides in Evanston
and speaks fluent Japanese.
• With a banner written as “Japanese Americans Rise Up + Stay Vigilant”, the 150 people marched to Dailey Plaza and merged into a major protest group organized by the Families Belong Together.
• Isaber and Lorian are the second generation of Chinese
Americans. Isaber said, “Our parents are immigrants, so we grew up here.
I think that it’s especially important to us to participate in the march.”
• Jane Kim is a Korean American and a member of KAN-WIN.
She said that it was really important to make a voice against the present
government. “We care about the people who are immigrants and related to
immigrants and who are not related to immigrants. We care about human
rights and to protect people by keeping families together. That’s very
important,” she said.
• The demonstration marches were held across the U.S.,
and a march held by 150 JAs and the Asian communities was small enough
to be overlooked by mainstream media. Yokota, however, said that the Chicago
Sun-Times covered the march, “So the presence of Japanese Americans in
the march was not entirely absent in mainstream media.” As JAs and the
Asian communities move forward, they are going to make media outreach
• The march was supported by: Chicago Japanese American
Historical Society, JACL Chicago, the Japanese Mutual Aid Society, the
Japanese American Service Committee, the Midwest Buddhist Temple, the
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum-Chicago Chapter, Asian Americans
Advancing Justice-Chicago, Invisible to Invincible: Asian Pacific Islander
Pride of Chicago (i2i), the Hana Center, the National Korean American
Service & Education Consortium, and the Asian Pacific American Labor
Alliance, KAN-WIN, and Christ Church of Chicago.
Japanese Americans with Asian communities march to protest the Trump Administration's Zero Tolerance Policy.
Masato Shinsako holds his hand-made sign.