With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Monday, August 26, 2013

Immoral Monday in Chicago

Streets and Sanitation workers made a gruesome discovery a half-block from a Safe Passage route this morning: 

Mayor cancels walk with students after confronted by protesters 
Mayor Rahm Emanuel was scheduled to lead a group of children from Cather Elementary School on the West Side to a nearby community center for after-school programs after classes let out this afternoon.
But after protesters from the grassroots group Action Now turned up at Cather with a bullhorn and pamphlets, urging a boycott of Chicago Public Schools, Emanuel abruptly dropped that plan, got back in his SUV and left. -- Tribune Live Blog 
Immoral Monday

What else could you call this day in Chicago when thousands of children were made to walk though a cordon of thousands of armed police, deputized city workers, minimum-wage hirelings and community volunteers, just to get to school safely? It was a scene reminiscent of Little Rock in 1957.

All this, the result of immoral policy decisions by an out-of-control mayor, disproportionately affecting the city's poorest and racially isolated communities and putting children in harm's way.

Reports are coming in of scattered protests, boycotts and acts of resistance across the city to the unprecedented mass closing of neighborhood public schools.

A school boycott has been called for Wednesday, the 28th to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

Moral Monday

Rev. Barber
I think, what's needed is the kind of mass protests I wrote about recently from North Carolina on Moral Mondays.

A leader of the Moral Monday movement is Rev. Dr. William Barber III,  the state head of the NAACP in N.C.. Dr. Barber was in town today along with old friend and veteran southern civil rights lawyer Al McSurely. Barber addressed the convention of the United Electrical Workers as did Kristine Mayle, from the CTU.

We got to hang out with McSurely and the Rev. this afternoon and couldn't help but get fired up after hearing more about this multiracial movement that has mobilized tens of thousands across North Carolina. More than 1,000 people have been arrested in acts of civil disobedience in defense of voting rights, public education and economic justice.

More on this to come.

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