Chicago, IL

Chicago Mayor and Governor Attend Rally Supporting Ukraine

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Hundreds of people, including Mayor Lightfoot and Governor Pritzker attended a rally Sunday in Chicago’s Ukrainian village to demonstrate solidarity with the Ukraine

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot both attended a rally Sunday to show support for the Ukraine as the country continues to fight off the Russian invasion. The rally was only one of several that occurred in Chicago over the weekend.

On Saturday, there was a truck and car caravan of Ukrainian residents of Chicago to protest the Russian invasion which stretched over 100 vehicles long, most of which were draped in blue and yellow Ukrainian flags. The caravan began in suburban East Dundee and finished at Buckingham Fountain in downtown Chicago. Protestors also gathered on Saturday in Millennium Park, waving Ukrainian flags and holding up signs which called for the Ukraine’s allies to act.

Governor Pritzker has been openly critical of the Russian invasion, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin as an “autocrat” and a “dangerous leader.”

"Slovo Craney [Slava Ukraini – Glory to the Ukraine] and screw Vladimir Putin," Pritzker said. "Today, we stand for democracy and today we stand united for peace and freedom for Ukraine. To the heroes of Ukraine, Illinois is with you."

Governor Pritzker is the great grandson of an Ukrainian refugee, something he has mentioned when speaking about Russia’s war with the Ukraine. He added that everyone, regardless of whether they have direct ties to the Ukraine or not should support the country and oppose Russia’s use of force.

“I know that we all hope for peace to reign across the continent of Europe, and our hope is that these battles will end very soon,” Pritzker said.

Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot also spoke at the rally on Sunday.

“Putin has gone forward with his acts of aggression against the country of Ukraine simply because the people of Ukraine aspire to be free, yes, to be a democratic country and align themselves with other countries with the same aspirations for their residents. We must stand united against the Putin aggression against Ukraine. As you heard from another speaker, it's Ukraine today but it will be another democratic freedom-running country tomorrow. We must stop him in his tracks and it begins right here and now,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot has called for weapons and humanitarian aid to help the country. She advocated for temporary protective status for Ukrainians who are already in the U.S. and for opening the borders to allow those fleeing the war to find sanctuary and safety in the U.S.

Lightfoot also arranged for Chicago’s City Hall to be lit in blue and yellow lights this week in support of the Ukraine. She tweeted:

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