Gary airport protesters

Protesters rush to the corner of the parking lot at the Gary/Chicago International Airport after hearing a bus bearing immigrants living in the country without legal permission had arrived at the airport. Scores of people were at the airport Friday protesting deportations taking place there.

A newly formed coalition of immigration activist organizations will be protesting the deportation of immigrants Friday morning at Gary/Chicago International Airport.

Protesters from the Ground Gary coalition, which is composed of immigration and union organizations from Northwest Indiana and Chicago, hope to end the airport's use by federal law enforcement officials to deport immigrants living in the country without legal permission.

Gary resident Ruth Needleman, an organizer of the event, said this will be the first protest against the airport this year. She helped organize three protests at the airport last year.

She said at the last protest in October authorities kept protesters contained in the airport's parking lot and parked vehicles to obstruct their view of detainees being bused into the facility.

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“We know they are ashamed of what they are doing,” Needleman said. “It's a shameful thing, and they want to hide it.”

The protest will feature speeches from several immigration activists, including an activist who helped defeat a planned immigration detention facility in Elkhart County.

The protest will begin 10 a.m. Friday at the airport, 6001 Airport Road in Gary. It is scheduled to end at noon.

More information can be found on NWI Resistance's Facebook page

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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.