Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been on nationwide tour promoting his $95 million police academy agenda, but not without resistance, reports the Chicago Tribune.
At UCLA and the University Michigan this week, students protested the arrival of Emmanuel and their schools for hosting him.
Protesters interrupted a talk by Mayor Rahm Emanuel at UCLA on Monday. They mayor wants to build a $95 million police academy campus on the city’s West Side while closing schools and social services. #NoCopAcademy
— Rachael Perrotta ???? (@plussone) February 13, 2018
Now, students at Harvard University plan to follow their lead. Students and community members are organizing a protest against Emmanual's Feb. 20 onstage conversation at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. In an open letter, written by the Harvard Urban Planning Organization, students said they were disappointed by the administration's choice to highlight Emmanuel instead of removing the smokescreen to his corrupt politics and actions.
"The event will highlight Emanuel’s tenure as mayor and touts how he has made Chicago 'a great place to live, work, and play.' This erases how destructive Emanuel’s policies have been to Black and Brown residents of Chicago and to the City of Chicago as a whole. As future and current designers, urban planners, policy-makers, organizers, and educators, we cannot disregard the people who are in danger because of Rahm Emanuel’s administration."
The letter went on to explain how Mayor Emmanual has failed the minority communities in Chicago.
"In the last 15 years, Chicago has seen its African American population decline by roughly 200,000 residents as they have been priced out or pushed out of their communities. The lack of economic investment in communities of color and the failure to address violence contributed to the exodus. In 2017 alone, a person was shot in Chicago every 2 minutes and 27 seconds. The Mayor’s focus on downtown while ignoring broad swaths of the city means vital resources that address poverty and violence are not deployed to the places of most need."
On Feb 12. when Emanuel spoke at UCLA, he responded to a protester, saying “I didn’t realize there were these many direct flights [from Chicago].” Adam Colling, a spokesman for Emanuel said during both protest “the vast majority of audience members themselves made it clear they were annoyed with the interruption. Anyone who has spent any amount of time on any college campus has probably protested something at some point. There’s really no surprise here.”
The controversy in Emanual promoting his plans for a new police academy across the nation is that local schools in Chicago are shutting down due to lack of funding. The city shut down 50 schools along with 12 health clinics in 2017. Chance The Rapper has been a longtime advocate in halting the construction of the police academy and instead wants efforts focused on education.
Stopping Chicago's Proposed $95 Million Police Academy in Its Tracks https://t.co/fszCysS7PA Ex-Goldman Sachs Chicago dem mayor Rahm Emanuel.
— Occupy the Democrats #FreePeterDouche (@OccupyTheDems) November 21, 2017
"There’s a lot of ways to transform the city that don’t have anything to do with police training," Chance told ThinkProgress . “What are we doing? I’ve been asking for months, over a year now, to fund these classrooms. And on the 4th of July weekend, they announced, in like a cool finessing way, that they have $95 million?” Bennett said. “What else can I say. What is y’all doing? What is y’all doing? It doesn’t make sense. I’m very confused.”