Little Village youth protest gentrification, Little Villlage Plaza new owners: 'We're not gonna let things get taken away from us anymore'

ByYukare Nakayama WLS logo
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Young protestors fight for vendors
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Young protestors came out on Mexican Independence Day to support local vendors in Little Village.

CHICAGO,IL (WLS) -- A number of youth from Little Village assembled Wednesday night to protest against gentrification in their community.

This comes after there was talk about new developments that would potentially replace the Discount Mall, a long standing destination for new entrepreneurs for over 20 years. A place where over 100 vendors sell Mexican goods.

"Our goal is to amplify the voices of the vendors today because they can't win this fight without us," said Emilio Nieto, protest organizer.

RELATED: Little Village Discount Mall vendors voice concern over possible new development

Novak Construction bought the plaza in early February. In a statement, the company said, "Although rumors and misinformation have surrounded the plaza for months, the owners wish to convey that there will be no re-development plants this year as they seek to understand the market and the neighborhood better."

Nieto said to him that statement is not enough to ease the concerns of the community.

"They're simply saying 'don't worry we'll do it later', but we're not gonna wait until it happens. We're here and we're watching their every move," said Nieto.

The organizer said they picked Mexican Independence day to have the protest because of the significance of the holiday.

"We're here on Mexican Independence day to let everybody here who doesn't know about it that we're not going to be passive about it and that we're not gonna let things get taken away from us anymore," said Nieto.