Chicago Teachers and Parents Launch Three Day March Against 54 School Closings
NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY

Chicago Teachers and Parents Launch Three Day March Against 54 School Closings


Increased gun violence expected in Chicago as school closings will force students to cross gang lines in America's deadliest city -   October 3, 14
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter


I support The Real News Network because it cured my vertigo from all the spinning by Fox and MSNBC. - David Pear
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

Bio

Jaisal Noor is a host and producer for The Real News Network.

Transcript

Chicago Teachers and Parents Launch Three Day March Against 54 School ClosingsJAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: In Chicago, hundreds of teachers, parents, and students have launched three days of marches to mark a final protest against plans to shutter 54 public schools. The march route includes the targeted schools, which are almost all in low-income black and Latino neighborhoods in Chicago's south and west sides. The protests will culminate with a mass demonstration and civil disobedience in downtown Chicago Monday, and direct action is also expected to escalate for Wednesday's scheduled final Board of Education vote over the fate of the schools.

Brandon Johnson is an organizer with the Chicago Teachers Union, which led the protests.

BRANDON JOHNSON, ORGANIZER, CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION: People are tired of their communities being disinvested in. People are frustrated with the mayor and CPS ignoring parental and community teacher voice. You know. So we want our voices to be heard loud and clear. We want to raise the consciousness of the communities that are most impacted by these failed policies so that there can be some real conversation about what our students deserve and what education should look like moving forward.

NOOR: This final week of protests are the culmination of months of marches, demonstrations, and civil disobedience organized by unions, parents, and community organizations. They aim to pressure Chicago's board of education to reject the closures. A recent poll found that six out of ten voters oppose the plans. But the board is handpicked by Rahm Emanuel, who says although the closures may be painful, they will help bridge the school system's billion dollar budget deficit.

BARBARA BYRD-BENNETT, CEO, CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS: These proposals have caused community anguish, and I understand that. Change is really hard. Change is frightening. And we all get really uncomfortable when the status quo, even part of the status quo, is changed. But when the status quo is not working, change is inevitable.

NOOR: But opponents of the closures got a boost last week when the city's hearing officers--retired state and federal judges--came out against 13 of the closures, arguing they would force parents and children to cross gang lines and endanger their lives. One of the schools cited was Manierre, located in the Near North Side, where the Cabrini Green projects once stood. The city wants to close Manierre and send its students to Jenner. Retired Cook County judge Paddy McNamara recommended the school not be closed, saying, quote, "There is a history going back over 40 years of rivalry between the two schools."

Two Chicago police officers on patrol in the area also told The Real News that the closure of Manierre would likely cause fights, but they said, hopefully, not result in gun violence.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: I mean, there's going to be fights. There's going to be fights. You'd hope there wouldn't be any gun violence at that age.

NOOR: Rondell Dennis is also concerned about increased violence--a former gang member who was just released after serving 20 years in prison for shooting and killing a nine-year-old two blocks from Jenner. He's dedicated his life to stopping gun violence in the neighborhood where he grew up.

RONDELL DENNIS, EX-GANG MEMBER: Jenna school is basically ran by the GDs; the Gangster Disciples run Jenna school. And to have the kids from Manierre, which are, like I say, on the north side of division, come over here and connect with the kids in Jenna, it's going to be mayhem, man. I talked to a lot of the kids from down here. I've even talked to a few of them down there. It's like the ones from down here are waiting for Manierre to close so those kids can come down here and they can actually have this fight and, you know, do little gang-banging things that they want to do.

Do not close Manierre. Do not close Manierre. Come up with some kind of alternative solution. Whatever it takes, do not close Manierre, because by closing Manierre, you're placing these kids' lives in jeopardy.

NOOR: The city has promised to provide increased security to prevent an outbreak of violence after schools are closed, but when parents inquired about the plans, the city said they had not written them yet.

DANIELLE PATE-HORTAN, LSC CHAIR, MARCONI ELEMENTARY: CPS has not shown me any evidence or anything about the safety passage that they're supposed to be doing, and I think it's not going to work, because they said they're going to hire parents and volunteers and different people. But children come late. We have children in Marconi come, like, to school from 10:30, 11:00, 12:00. I asked [bObi'b3`gd@n] and I asked Safety and Security what they was going to do about that, so they said they were working on it. But I don't believe nothing CPS tell me, because when Safety and Security came to me, then they couldn't show me no plan.

NOOR: Lawyers for parents and the Chicago Teachers Union filed two federal class-action lawsuits this past week, arguing the closing will disproportionately affect African-American and disabled students. And the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union, the Caucus of Rank and File Educators, was reelected to another three years in office by a four-to-one margin. Again, Brandon Johnson:

JOHNSON: If you look at all the major accomplishments that we've had in this country for poor people, for working-class families, for folks that actually get a chance to move towards the middle class, that all of that has been gained through organizing and challenging the status quo, the political structure, the economic structure that is dead set on crushing and marginalizing people.

And so if we're going to have a real movement across this country for working families, we have to once again find that place where labor and civil rights meet each other. And remember it was Dr. King that said that if labor and civil rights were to ever collide and to join forces, it would have enormous potential, to say the least, to actually move working families and poor people to a better economic place.

NOOR: Reporting for The Real News, this is Jaisal Noor in Chicago.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


Comments

Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

Comments


Latest Stories


Israel's Nukes a Major Factor in Mideast Arms Race
The Man Who Knew Too Much, From 9/11 to Mass Surveillance - Thomas Drake on RAI (3/5)
The Global African: Addressing Race & Mediterranean Refugee Crisis
Police Violence & Reparations: Opal Tometi, Joey Mogul & Darrell Cannon
From 9/11 to Mass Surveillance, The Man Who Knew Too Much - Thomas Drake on RAI (2/5)
As Allegations Mount Against Pocomoke Officials, Black Community Plans Electoral Challenge
Germans Get Debt Relief Twice in 20th Century, But Demand Greeks Pay Up
Republican Rank-and-File Line Up Against Financial Regulation
From 9/11 to Mass Surveillance, The Man Who Knew Too Much - Thomas Drake on RAI (1/5)
The Anti-Capitalist Greek Left Says No to Austerity and Bailouts (1/2)
The Return of the Troika (2/2)
Tsipras Defends Varoufakis Preparation for Grexit (1/2)
George Jackson: Releasing the Dragon - a Video Mixtape Preview
Pocomoke Mayor Discusses Firing Black Police Chief as ACLU Says City Can't Bar Press
Prisoners Now Eligible for Pell Grants to Earn College Degrees
Governor Hogan Orders Closing of Notorious Baltimore Detention Center
In Testing 'Southern Heritage', Some Face the Gun
The Silent & Unseen Victims of the Greek Debt Crisis
Placating Israel Over Iran Nuclear Deal By Releasing Convicted Spy Pollard?
Confusion, Leadership Vacuum Fueled Freddie Gray Unrest
Varoufakis Sued for Alleged Treason While Syriza's Left Platform Is Accused of Conspiracy
Prosecutor Charges Cop, Releases Video of Sam Dubose Killing
A New War is Unfolding on Turkey's Eastern Border
What Obama Didn't Say in His African Union Address
Will Congress Unravel the Iran Nuclear Deal?
Turkey Enters Fight Against ISIS, But Target is Still Assad
Sandra Bland and Black Girls Matter
Gay Pride Celebrated Amid Concerns Over Trans Rights
Movement for Black Lives Conference Demonstrates Power of Organized Community
Only Civilian Oversight with Subpoena Power Will Stop Sheriff Abuse, Say LA County Residents

RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting