Local Latino community leaders held a prayer video at 9 p.m. on Thursday, the beginning of a 24-hour protest over Donald Trump's campaign ahead of his rally in Chicago Friday.
Thousands were expected to speak out against what the group describes as "extreme racism, xenophobia and bigotry," which they say the Republican presidential candidate is bringing to the city.
“The Latino community in Chicago will not stand by without our voices of resistance being heard,” the group said in a release.
The protest will lead up to Trump's scheduled rally at the University of Illinois-Chicago's pavilion Friday. Students there have also promised to protest, even signing a moveon.org petition arguing the rally “has no place in Chicago but especially not at an institution of higher learning.” So far it has over 50,000 signatures.
"The message to get across with this protest is to show Donald Trump that the students at UIC will not stand for the hatred, the bigotry," said student Miguel Del Torel.
"Donald Trump's campaign, his hatred and his bigotry that it brings, it's not welcome here at UIC," student Juan Rojas said.
The school said in a statement,”UIC’s core values of freedom, equality and social justice for all, regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability status or sexual orientation, are deeply rooted in our diverse community and not endangered by the presence of any political candidate on campus.”
Despite the fierce opposition to the Trump rally, the Chicago Police Department ensures that their plan for the rally will keep everyone safe.
“CPD has extensive experience managing large scale special events,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement. “We have an everyday working relationship with the secret service and are coordinating very closely with them, Chicago fire and the university on everything from logistics to traffic to safety and security.
Guglielmi added that “people can expect to see a very visible police presence.”
Trump's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.