Chicago Obon at Cook County Jail

On Sunday, August 16th, Nikkei Uprising, the Tsuru for Solidarity regional hub in Chicago, organized an Obon ceremony outside of the Cook County Jail.  The event brought together the Japanese tradition of Obon, which honors our ancestors, with the fight to free incarcerated people suffering from COVID-19.  Organizers worked with Cassandra Greer-Lee whose husband Nikolas Lee passed away from COVID-19 while incarcerated at Cook County Jail. The event included taiko from Ho Etsu Taiko and food donated from Mom’s Chicago. Brandon Lee described the event: “[Sunday] was very powerful! It had a mix of party/protest atmosphere with the live band. Incorporating the Obon dance was rad. Food from Mom’s was outstanding. Doing the protests, of course, serves multiple purposes: you want to rally support from people driving by and you want to be a part of something with people from all parts of the city. It’s also a time where people being held in CCJ can hear some of that joy and maybe feel it themselves for a couple hours.”

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