CHICAGO -- It was scorching—in the high 80s, but feeling more like low 90s in the sun and choking humidity—as Father Jose Landaverde, an activist Catholic priest, took my call on the road.
This was Sunday, one week since Landaverde and a group of 10 people had set off from the South Side of Chicago, attempting a 350-mile walk to the site of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. It’s their peaceful protest against the anti-immigrant sentiments swirling around the event.
Landaverde reported his fellow walkers, at the time traversing LaGrange, Indiana, were tired after the first 100 or so miles and suffering from bleeding, blistered feet and dehydration. Landaverde, who can be seen on Facebook treading in his black clerical clothing and collar, sounded worn but in good spirits as he walked and talked, cars whizzing by at high speed.
“People have driven past us, honking their horns,” he said, straining in the midafternoon sun. “Some of them have cheered us, some have yelled insults, like ‘Wetbacks go home.’ We had a cop roll up and say to us, ‘I don’t know what you guys are doing here, I’m a Trump supporter,’ but that’s OK. It’s balanced by our supporters who are driving out here, some all the way from Chicago, to bring us food and water, and by those who stop and really want to understand what we are doing out here.”