Many of you may know 4 people (3 adults, 1 youth) were arrested at a peaceful demonstration for a trauma center on the south side in Chicago yesterday. One of them, was our dear comrade Toussaint Losier. The youth organization, Fearless Leading by the Youth, lost one of its founding members, Damien Turner, 3 years ago after a shooting and a long journey to the nearest trauma center (Northwestern). It was reported that if there was a trauma center closer, Damien would still be with us today (and still organizing). We lost a comrade, fam.
Since then, these youth (and Damien’s mother) have organized diligently for the past 3 years to demand services to the south side, where the University of Chicago has set up empire. According to a recent FLY statement about the arrests yesterday: “Today the University of Chicago showed how they feel about youth, especially black youth and allies who support us. We came peacefully to their new building, which they spent over $700 million on. Our point was if you can find that kind of money, you can save lives of the community around you. They are building this big flashy building right in the middle of our neighborhoods but they don’t want to open up their doors to us…”
So as an update, after the arrests yesterday: all of the Trauma Center protestors have been released w/ trespassing charges. One protestor, Toussaint Losier, has an additional charge of resisting arrest (watch the video below of the police using excessive force so you can feel how outraged I am). The youth leader arrested, Victoria Crider, was released with no charges because she was a minor (thank goodness).
And then call: University of Chicago Police Department – 773.702.8181 ask for all charges dropped against all 3 peaceful demonstrators (Toussaint Losier, Alex Goldenberg, Jacob Klipppenstein).
Their group had tickets to the event, were peacefully demonstrating, we can see the video of the police using excessive force, and that the country is watching.
Not sure where U of C admin plays in here but additionally, folks are asking everyone to email President Zimmer of University of Chicago (email@example.com) to ask him to tell UCPD to DROP ALL CHARGES.
Mark your calendar: Feb. 26th is the reportedly the court date for Toussaint, Alex and Jacob.
Please be sure to sign the petition: https://www.change.org/petitions/university-of-chicago-administration-explain-recent-police-violence-on-campus-2?utm_campaign=action_box&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition
And finally, feel free to send the youth a note of solidarity, encouraging them to continue struggling fearlessly! They can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Youth are dying everyday on the south side. It is all over the press all over the country. But they are not talking about how the people who could help save lives are willing to let us die because they’re greedy. Everyone wants to talk about the youth, but when we talk, instead of listening, they lock us up and brutalize us.” full statement
Great job to the youth and allies at FLY. For those around the country asking where our youth movements and leadership is… here is an example. Proud of them for staying strong. Let’s keep lifting them up, fam. And represent.