The Party for Socialism and Liberation in Chicago has had the honor of working with the Alvarez family in demanding justice for Anthony Alvarez. He was killed by Chicago police officer Evan Solano on March 31, 2021. On the last day of this year’s Women’s History Month we interviewed Anthony’s mother Verónica Álvarez to highlight and uplift her story.
Her fighting spirit as a woman, fighter, immigrant and much more have carried the struggle demanding justice for Anthony with so much love and determination to win. In speaking with Anthony’s mom, it is apparent that we must be unafraid to be in the streets because that is how we will get justice. While justice might mean something different to different folks, as Veronica points out, as mothers we know that our children deserve safety in our communities.
The role of the police has never been in place to protect the community, but it has protected the wealthy and their property. As the PSL has stated, “It ensures stability through force and intimidation, and is specially focused on putting down any challenges to their highly unequal and oppressive social order. Every poor or working-class person who has ever engaged in a serious struggle for even the most basic things — a strike for better wages, housing for the homeless, better conditions for students, a protest against police brutality, etc. — immediately runs into the forces of the capitalist law and the capitalist state.”
Veronica and many working-class immigrant mothers have the right to defend their families and communities, no matter if it is against the police, politicians, or the wealthy capitalist class of their cities. While Veronica and the community have been fighting for justice for Anthony, the mayor of Chicago increased the police budget by $200 million and used $281 million of COVID-19 relief money to fund the police.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has announced no charges against Solano and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown has yet to fire Solano. Solano took Veronica’s son’s life and Veronica’s demands are clear: Fire and jail killer cop Evan Solano! She has not stopped fighting in the Portage Park neighborhood of Chicago despite intimidation and attacks on Anthony’s memorial. The community stands with Veronica and honors her on Women’s History Month and always.
The following interview with Verónica Álvarez has been translated from Spanish.
Question: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Answer: My name is Verónica Álvarez, I have been both the mother and father with strength and hard work. I have been able to keep my children forward in life. I was born and raised in Durango, México. At 13-years-old, I migrated to this country.
Q: What are your demands for justice for Anthony?
A: I am asking and demanding justice in this investigation. I ask for transparency and for this not to be filled with irregularities as the ones we have dealt with up to now. That those who are responsible for the death of my son be sent to jail. I only ask for justice, and not only for him [Anthony], but for those who have also suffered because of the justice system in this country and because of the police.
Q: As you have seen the community fighting, do you think women play a role?
A: Honestly our community has not been as united as we would have wanted. But there have been a lot of people who have supported us like you all have, you have made us strong because of your support. But I would have liked if there was more of a presence in our community, more support is needed. We need more support, and less fear to come out into the streets. These days women at every instance show that they are very important in our community. Day by day, we take note that women are the heads of our community.
Q: Can you share what you have learned since fighting for justice for Anthony?
A: I’ve learned that in this country sometimes justice is not the same for everyone. There is more favoritism towards the people who have power, not for the people, especially the people who are the ones who pay their salaries with our work. Also, that the lives of some people are more important than others when all should be equally important.
Q: Is there a message you want to send to other women and/or mothers fighting for justice against the police?
A: My message is that in these times we should not let ourselves be scared by this system. That we must go out and face any adversity and not let things happen as we have before, and fight for what is fair for all.