CHICAGO – Scores of parents, students, teachers, public school employees and community residents are gearing up for the next stage in their fight to save 129 schools from the chopping block. While the District contemplates how many neighborhood schools they will shutter this year, taxpayers who have had enough of these top-down, draconian measures are strategizing on how to elevate their voices in the school closing fight.
An anti-school closings march and rally is planned for 4 p.m. on March 27 in downtown Chicago. Demonstrators will gather at Daley Plaza, proceed to City Hall and then head toward the Board of Education.
WHO: Teachers, parents and other education justice activists will participate in “Citywide Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Trainings” sponsored by the Chicago Teachers Union and the Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), a collective of a number of community-based organizations from across the city.
WHAT: Participants will learn new non-violent protest techniques, such as disruptions, occupations, demonstrations, arrests and how to further “arouse the conscience of the community” over the injustice of City Hall wanting to close 13 percent of neighborhood schools, most of which are in African American neighborhoods. The trainings will be led by legendary political activist and scholar Lisa Fithian.
WHEN: Thursday, March 14, 2013 – West Side Training; Saturday, March 16, 2013 – South Side Training
WHERE: (Thursday) – St. Agatha Church, 3151 W. Douglas Blvd., 6:30 p.m.; (Saturday) – Pleasant Gift M.B. Church, 4526 S. Greenwood Ave., 10:00 a.m.
WHY: The Chicago Teachers Union, the Grassroots Education Movement, parents, students and legislators demand a full moratorium on school closings and charter proliferation this school year. School closings do not save money. Already, 10 people have been arrested in protest of the mayor’s school closing policies. After CPS releases its “hit list” of schools targeted for closure and consolidation, members of the Board of Education will vote in May whether to uphold the proposed actions.