I spent a couple of months in Chicago working on a trade union campaign a while back. While I was there I went to a few Chicago Fire MLS futbol matches (some live at Toyota Park and a few at the Globe Pub) and participated in Section 8 with the Partisans. Section 8 is a pretty militant independent supporters association (ISA), and it was a pleasure to be a part of it, if only briefly. I’m excited to see this article about an action from Section 8 on August 16th to unite and fight back against racist attacks against one of its member groups, Sector Latino. A statement on the Section 8 website says, “We will allow the club time to react and open dialogue after Saturday, Aug. 16th. If no movement occurs before the next home match, we will continue with an escalating series of protest actions.”
Chicago Soccer Fans Launch Counter-attack Against Racism
Fight Back! News: Bridgeview, IL – Fans of the Chicago Fire major league soccer team sent the team owners a message that the fans will not tolerate racism from security guards towards Latino fans. Sector Latino is a Chicago Fire supporter group which is made up primarily of Mexican youth. Since their founding in 2005, they have been treated differently than the other supporter groups at Toyota Park, the home stadium of the Fire. They’ve complained of aggressive searches and being followed around the stadium by security guards.
At the last home game the team sold tickets to families for a section which is normally reserved for the supporter groups, who generally stand and cheer the whole game. The families attempted to sit in the standing section. Security responded by sending the Sector Latino out of their section, in which they are season ticket holders, to accommodate the mistake on the part of the team. During this incident, Sector members were called “wetbacks” and “spics” by the security guards. The guards also attempted to provoke fights with the youth.
The organized fans of the Chicago Fire are part of an Independent Supporters Association called Section 8. The leadership from the various groups held a meeting to form a response to the harassment. Previous meetings about the problems with Fire management and the park produced no results. Continue reading