Ivory Coast power struggle, violence prompts protest in Chicago

June 30, 2012 at 12:53 am


Tiffany Lane/MEDILL Gilbert Lohoua (right) said he cannot reach his family in the western Ivory Coast and fears they may be killed.

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While most of the world’s attention was focused on Northern Africa – uprisings in Algeria, Egypt and now Libya – other parts of Africa have been in turmoil.

Unrest in the Ivory Coast brought about a protest in Chicago this week.

“We want freedom in our land!”

Protestors chanted the words of independence for the country’s former president, Laurent Gbagbo, to be released from prison and restored to power.

Gbagbo refused to step down from presidency during months of violence after a November 28 run-off election against rival Alassane Outtara. Reports vary on casualties, but the latest figures say 3,000 have been killed, and about a million people displaced.

U.N. and French troops were in a 15-day conflict with Gbagbo and he was finally arrested on April 11, when he was forcibly removed from his home.

“The French soldiers and U.N. soldiers will help Alassane rebels to push the election freedom away,” said Sekre Kouakou, organizer of the rally.

Being unemployed and Asian is rare and, among some, a point of shame

June 29, 2012 at 12:26 am

Tiffany Lane/MEDILL Ivan Li (left), employment director of Asian Human Services in Chicago, continues to help translate Tu Huynh’s mail and paperwork after finding him a job 10 years ago.

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Tu Huynh has been working at a car alternator design and manufacturing company for 10 years.

But before that, Huynh, an immigrant, was unemployed – something that still looms large in his mind because of his cultural background.

“If you’re unemployed, you stay home all day the neighbors and friends figure out you’re unemployed because you’re always home,” Huynh said.

Huynh, a Vietnamese refugee of Chinese descent, came to the United States in 1984.

Neighbors know they can’t stop Lakeview Wal-Mart, so they want to control it

June 27, 2012 at 12:57 am


Tiffany Lane/MEDILL Gloria Picchetti (center), member of the South East Lake View Neighbors, is among many locals angered over the possibility of a Wal-Mart coming to the area.

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Lakeview residents are concerned that the proposal to bring a Wal-Mart into the neighborhood will take away the cultural feel and hurt its mom-and-pop shops.

“Let’s have smaller storefronts and street life like we do in the rest of our neighborhoods,” said local resident and business owner Paul Fehribach.

Fehribach said Lakeview residents are not looking to shop in big box developments.

“It will have a detrimental effect on the feel of the street and there will be tons of traffic,” Fehribach said.

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) told residents at a neighborhood meeting Monday that he wanted to propose to the zoning committee a maximum of 25,000 feet for any retailer that took the vacancy.

For Lakeview locals, prospect of Wal-Mart is a no-sale

June 23, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Tiffany Lane/MEDILL Bruce Alan Beal told residents and media Walmart would eliminate local businesses.

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One protester at Thursday’s rally against Wal-Mart’s plans for a Lakeview store found a very anti-capitalist overtone to the corporate giant’s potential effect.
“The point is this is just going to be like the Soviet Union,” said Mimi Harris, “where there’s a state store and that’s all you can get.”

Harris, a former Lakeview resident who now lives in Edgewater, said Wal-Mart limits choice and agrees that it does not encourage small business.

She said Wal-Mart and big box business is “not good in a democracy.”

“We have a huge diversity that needs to be economically developed to be more like world-class cities,” Harris said.

Gov. Pat Quinn signs legislation to prevent concussions in school sports

June 23, 2012 at 9:12 pm

People from Chicago spice up the dance floor

June 22, 2012 at 9:18 pm

A preschool provides children a way to keep their cultural roots

June 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Americans have mixed feelings on President Obama’s 50th birthday celebration

June 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm