A rally led by the Illinois Association of Letter Carriers was held on Chicago’s South Side Tuesday night to support postal workers amid several recent violent attacks on letter carriers in the Chicago area.

The rally comes on the same day that Senate Majority Whip and longtime Illinois Senator Dick Durbin sent a follow-up letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Attorney General Merrick Garland urging additional safety measures to protect mail carriers.

Durbin referenced the shooting of a mail carrier on the city’s North Side last week in part of his letter:

“On August 1, in the middle of the afternoon, an on-duty letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) reportedly was shot on the northside of Chicago during an armed robbery.  Fifteen minutes later, near the same area, a second letter carrier was robbed at gunpoint.  The next day, two suspects, one armed with a handgun, robbed a letter carrier and stole their bag in Berwyn, a suburb west of Chicago. This violence against letter carriers, theft of mail, and any related crimes that result from the theft of mail are unacceptable and must be stopped,” Durbin’s letter read in part.

Durbin’s letter follows up on an April letter that was sent to the Department of Justice and the United States Postal Service that inquired on what actions were being taken to improve the safety of mail carriers, with Durbin mentioning a link to election security.

Among the attendees at Tuesday’s rally was Illinois Congressman Danny Davis, who joined the growing calls for more action to combat what officials see as an alarming trend.

Ahead of the rally, the Illinois Association for Letter Carriers issued a statement, which reads in part:

“Letter carriers are facing violent attacks at an alarming rate. The agency’s unofficial motto ‘Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds’ does not include threats of deadly physical violence. That’s what letter carriers have had to contend with. In just the past week, robbers assaulted a pair of letter carriers in the city and one in the suburbs, shooting and wounding one letter carrier. Postal carriers now dread coming to work. They fear becoming the next victim.

We’re calling for an end to the violence. We’re calling on our community to help find those involved. We’re calling on the United States Postal Service to do more to protect their workers.”

In response to the rally, a spokesperson from the United States Postal Inspection Service issued the following statement:

“The main tenant of our agency’s mission is to support and protect the US Postal Service and its employees, infrastructure, and customers. We take this responsibility seriously. The Chicago Division continues to devote additional personnel and resources, as well as leverage relationships with our local, state, and federal partners, to respond and investigate violent crimes against postal employees. We remain resolute and determined to hold these criminals responsible for their actions. We stand with postal letter carriers.”