Latino State News
UPDATE: Day 6 of Protest At Whittier Elementary and No One Budging
The sixth day of a protest in a Pilsen elementary school has both Chicago Public School (CPS) officials and parents of students refusing to budge.
Civil activists, parents, and children are occupying the field house at Whittier Elementary School still and have been since Wednesday. With bathrooms, inflatable beds, and food, the protesters say they have no reason to leave until CPS agrees to what they’re asking for.
Neither side has spoken to the other since Friday, when CPS threatened to have the protesters removed and arrested, and in response, those inside prevented CPS from entering.
Parents and supporters are protesting CPS’s decision to demolish the field house, and want it to be converted into a library for the children.
CPS has said that the building is just unsafe and there’s no money to renovate, but the protesters claim that the cost of the conversion to a library would be less than the cost of its demolition and that union workers have volunteered to work for free to help with such a transformation. The protesters also say their engineers claim that CPS’s safety concerns have been overstated.
The only small breakthrough came on Monday, when Alderman Danny Solis said CPS CEO Ron Huberman had promised not to demolish the school before meeting with protesters.
“We’ve got Huberman paying attention, now,” said one activist. “They have to listen to us.”