Today is a day of mourning for the children of Chicago. Their education has been hijacked by an unrepresentative, unelected corporate school board, acting at the behest of a mayor who has no vision for improving the education of our children. Closing schools is not an education plan. It is a scorched earth policy. Evidence shows that the underutilization crisis has been manufactured. Their own evidence also shows the school district will not garner any significant savings from closing these schools.
This is bad governance. CPS has consistently undermined school communities and sabotaged teachers and parents. Their actions have had a horrible domino effect. More than 40,000 students will lose at least three to six months of learning because of the Board’s actions. Because many of them will now have to travel into new neighborhoods to continue their schooling, some will be victims of bullying, physical assault and other forms of violence. Board members are wishing for a world that does not exist and have ignored the reality of the world we live in today. Who on the Board will be held responsible? Who at City Hall will be held responsible?
Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis commenting on today’s news that the Board of Education has voted to close 50 Chicago public schools.
While only around 40 percent of children in Chicago are black are Latino, 90 percent of children whose schools will be shuttered are black or Latino.
Never be deceived that that rich will allow you to vote their wealth away.
Lucy Parsons, the Haymarket Square widow who internationalized the struggle for the eight-hour day and whose work led to the May Day rallies held around the world. Happy May Day!
Check this out f
March 18, 2013
On Wednesday, a victim of police brutality filed a lawsuit against a Chicago police officer as well as the city of Chicago. According to Courthouse News Service, in Apr. 2011, Chicago police appeared at Rita King’s door after a domestic disturbance complaint. King was approached by a police officer with a taser, arrested and then taken to the police station. She remained handcuffed to a table while she was questioned. Then, allegedly, she refused to be fingerprinted until someone explained why she was under arrest. A police officer responded: “We know somebody who can get your fingerprints.”
In entered police commander Glenn Evans who pressed his fist into King’s nose for three to five minutes, repeatedly saying, “I’m going to push your nose through your brain.” King bled profusely, was fingerprinted and was finally released from the station. She attempted to walk home, but lost consciousness after one block. When she woke up 30 minutes later, she managed to call a friend who brought her to the hospital where it was determined she suffered a facial fracture.
Evans has faced at least five other lawsuits as a Chicago police officer in the past. According to SJ&A attorneys, in 2006, an employee of Chicago’s Water Department named Rennie Simmons knocked on Evans door to deliver a notice for an overdue bill. Evans beat up Simmons, and preceded to choke him. Evans relented only after Simmons screamed that he was a stroke patient. Simmons went back to his car, called 911 and was shocked when he was arrested, not Evans.
In 2008, a college student named Cordell Simmons was brought into the station for a drug-related arrest. When Evans felt he wasn’t cooperating with police, he had Cordell stripped and held down while he tasered his groin.
Both of these lawsuits settled before reaching trial.
Despite all this, Evans was promoted to from lieutenant to commander in August 2012.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, King states in the lawsuit that the Chicago police carry on a “code of silence” in which the officers’ loyalty to each other hinders them from revealing misconduct.
In the suit King states, “This de facto policy encourages Chicago Police officers to engage in misconduct with impunity and without fear of official consequences.”
There are no words to describe the fury I felt when reading this story.
February 16, 2013
Four separate shootings took place in the span of 90 minutes Friday evening in Chicago, the first coming less than an hour after Air Force One departed O’Hare Airport after President Obama spoke on the culture of gun violence and economic decay that plagues many cities, including his hometown.
Four people were wounded on the streets of Chicago’s South and West sides between 5:55 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. Friday, the Chicago Tribune reported. The president was airborne shortly after 5 p.m.
An hour earlier, Obama wrapped up a personal speech at Hyde Park Academy on the South Side, where he mourned the killing of Hadiya Pendleton, the teen who visited Washington for his inauguration just a week before she was gunned down not far from the school. “This is not just a gun issue. It’s also an issue of the kinds of communities that we’re building, and for that we all share a responsibility as citizens to fix it,” he said.
Obama had said little about Chicago’s murder problem — there were more than 500 in 2012 — before Friday, instead focusing on mass shootings in his post-Newtown gun control push. But at a high school just two miles away from his Chicago home, he acknowledged the depths of devastation that street violence generated in the city.
“Last year, there were 443 murders with a firearm in this city, and 65 of them were 18 and under. That’s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months,” he said. “That’s precisely why the overwhelming majority of Americans are asking for some common sense proposals to make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.”
Since 2008, more than 530 young people have been killed in Chicago, making it the youth murder capital of the country. The vast majority of these deaths—almost 80 percent—have happened in 22 Black and Brown majority neighborhoods (not mentioned by Obama).
In 2010, nearly 700 Chicago school children were shot, and 66 of them died. Last year, 24 school children were killed and another 319 were injured by gunfire.
For more on the violence in Chicago, read Keeanga Yahmatta-Taylor’s piece on the real roots of violence & politicians’ failed attempts at fixing the epidemic, including deploying more cops out into the streets.