TAKE ON HATE continues to demand the resignation of
Sharon Brannigan

Arabs, Muslims, and supporters protest Brannigan again and confront racists in Palos Township

Sign the #ResignBrannigan petition here !

On Monday, September 11th, the national Campaign to TAKE ON HATE, along with the AAAN and other local Chicagoland partners, mobilized hundreds of community members for the third month in a row, to rally and protest racist Palos Township trustee Sharon Brannigan's social media post attacking Arabs and Muslims in the southwest suburbs, and most recently,  Middle Eastern students.
After a short rally outside, residents packed the Board of Trustees meeting to hear Scott Smith, board member of Southwest Side Chicago Diversity Collaborative, and Vivian Khalaf, immigration attorney and prominent community activist, give powerful testimonies on behalf of the TAKE ON HATE-led coalition. They both challenged the board to terminate Brannigan, raising concerns about her violations of the township's constitution and by-laws.

The meeting proceeded with another hour of Arab and non-Arab community members criticizing Brannigan's racism and the board's complicity for not censuring her or demanding that she resign.  When a non-resident--who had been standing across the street from the rally next to homemade signs that read, "ISIS OUT OF PALOS" and "ILLEGAL ALIEN INVADERS OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS"--tried to spew his own racism, he was immediately shouted down by many of the meeting attendees, who chanted "Racists Go Home!" as he was forced to leave with a couple of his racist buddies in tow.

"Outside of the Movement for Black Lives-led fight for police accountability, this is the issue of our generation in the U.S.," said Nesreen Hasan of the Arab American Action Network, one of the coalition's leading institutions. "Brannigan is a white supremacist, and we are not going to let the racists she is attracting to these meetings think that they are free to be ugly and hateful. We support the shutting down of racists and white supremacists in Boston, Oakland, Chicago, and everywhere else, including Palos Hills. Hate and violence is not free speech!"

After the racist was shut down, Township Supervisor Colleen Schumann
adjourned the meeting, in a move to limit the outrage. Elected officials like Brannigan and Trump embolden this racism and hate, including the deadly examples we have seen in Charlottesville and other places.  Since last year's presidential election, Black, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Muslim, and many other marginalized communities across the country have seen massive escalations in attacks against them.

Last month, after the previous Board of Trustees meeting was cancelled due to its failure to accommodate the large crowd anticipated to attend,
Schumann requested that community organizers notify her about the need for a larger meeting space.

This was done by TAKE ON HATE as requested, but Schumann once again failed to secure a larger space, instead announcing three days before the meeting that it would be held in the township's parking lot, sparking further outrage within the community.  Mass phone calls forced Schumann to scrap that idea and return the meeting to the same 42-person room that was still too small.  

When challenged on her decisions, Schumann contended that the addition of a loudspeaker outside the doors put the township in compliance with the Illinois Open Meetings Act, but the coalition disagreed and continues to work with the Illinois Attorney General's office to explore possible legal action.


Since Brannigan refuses to resign, and since none of the other trustees will take a stand against her racism and hate, the coalition is asking all community members and supporters to continuously call the Palos Township office at 708.598.4418 and demand Brannigan's immediate resignation. The leadership of the township is refusing to address the issue
in a serious and timely manner, and this silence only points to complicity with and approval of Brannigan's racist comments. So keep calling and don't allow business as usual!

Follow the action on Twitter, using #ResignBrannigan, #TakeOnHate, and #TakeOnHateChi.

Organized by The Campaign to TAKE ON HATE, AMVOTE PAC, Arab American Action Network, Arab American Democratic Club, Arab American Family Services, Color Of Change, Kiswani Law, P.C., Law Offices of Reema Odeh, and other community members and activists.

See media coverage of the protest and meeting below:


Chicago Tribune - Daily Southtown

WGN News


The Targeted 'Other': Shared Experience of Japanese and Arab Americans

RSVP here!


Thursday, October 19, 2017
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

University of Illinois at Chicago Student Center East
750 South Halsted St
Room 302
Chicago, IL 60607

During WWII, Japanese Americans were targeted for wholesale incarceration and racial discrimination in the name of national security. Now Arab, Muslim, and South Asian Americans are being similarly persecuted and excluded from the definition of what it means to be "American." Join this discussion with the Japanese American Service Committee, Chicago Japanese American Historical Society, and the AAAN to hear personal stories of how individuals from these communities
experienced or are currently living in a society where one's own culture makes them a target for hatred.

This program is a part of the Chicago Cultural Alliance's Inherit Chicago. Inherit Chicago is a city wide festival of art, ideas and performance at neighborhood heritage museums and cultural centers. Head to InheritChicago.org for a full list of events!

Additional co-sponsors include UIC Arab American Cultural Center, UIC Asian American Resource & Cultural Center and UIC Global Asian Studies Program.

Public Transportation: CTA Blue Line UIC - Halsted stop, located about one block north of Student Center East.

Parking: Available in the Halsted and Taylor Street Parking Structure (760 West Taylor Street). The entrance to this parking structure is on Taylor Street. Upon entry, guest should take a ticket and upon exit, guests should present this ticket to the cashier and pay the appropriate total (cash, debit card, and credit card are accepted).

Accessibility: The Student Center East is wheelchair accessible.
Keep informed by connecting with the AAAN on Facebook and Twitter