Students across the nation have been protesting against Chicago's plan to build a new $95 million police academy in the city's predominately black West Garfield park neighborhood, directing most of their ire toward Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Mayor Emanuel has also caught major heat, over the past few years, for his mass school closings.
Wednesday, students from the city's south and west side neighborhoods swarmed Chicago's City Hall to continue their protest efforts, demanding the city invest in its underserved communities instead of building the expensive new academy, WGN Chicago reported.
The protest also took on a digital dimension: the hashtag #NoCopAcademy was born as reporters live-tweeted the protest.
"City Hall isn't allowing food or water to be brought to the #NoCopAcademy youth who are sitting in," tweeted writer Kelly M. Hayes. "Trying to starve children out of a public space, just like they are being starved of resources in their communities. Now that's a solid a representation of Rahm Emanuel's Chicago."
City Hall isn't allowing food or water to be brought to the #NoCopAcademy youth who are sitting in. Trying to starve children out of a public space, just like they are being starved of resources in their communities. Now that's a solid a representation of Rahm Emanuel's Chicago.— Dystopian Scribe (@MsKellyMHayes) March 28, 2018
A harrowing display of tombstones, baring the names of young Chicagoans killed by police and schools closed by Mayor Emanuel, covered City Hall grounds.
Follow #nocopacademy for the action happening at city hall right now. Come down and join the crew demanding funding for schools over policing. pic.twitter.com/ypMKokgp0B— Charlene Carruthers (@CharleneCac) March 28, 2018
The names of young Chicago lives killed by police & schools closed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel are written on tombstones as part of the #NoCopAcademy protest pic.twitter.com/aNpb4uyLFs— The TRiiBE (@TheTRiiBE) March 28, 2018
We’re out here on the 1st floor of City Hall for a die-in. There are tombstones for all the people killed by police, the mental health clinics and schools that have been closed since Rahm’s been in office. Join us in honoring them, we’re going to be here all day #NoCopAcademy pic.twitter.com/M60Ag0JilU— JASC (@SeniorCaucus) March 28, 2018
Pushed out of elevators, told we can’t bring food or water inside, so young organizers are playing games, leading teach-ins on our alderpeople, and teaching each other new chants to pass the time and build community. #NoCopAcademy pic.twitter.com/HOYmvasrC1— #NoCopAcademy (@monicatea2) March 28, 2018
Our newest member is here sitting in. He was held in cook county for 4 years for a murder he had nothing to do with. Was released 2 weeks ago after charges dropped. This is why we fight. #NoCopAcademy pic.twitter.com/Dd92tH9gMO— Assata's Daughters (@AssataDaughters) March 28, 2018
Chance The Rapper showed his support for the students via Twitter:
Students in Chicago are staging a SIT IN at City Hall right now. I ask that you stop by and show them that you are in SUPPORT of their REVOLUTION. Bring food if you can, these children are fighting for our future kids as well as themselves #NoCopAcademy
121 N LASALLE ST— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) March 28, 2018
"Students in Chicago are staging a SIT IN at City Hall right now. I ask that you stop by and show them that you are in SUPPORT of their REVOLUTION," he tweeted.
The Chicago-based artist sent protesters pizza, but those delivering it were denied entry by Chicago police.
That moment when @chancetherapper sends youth organizers holding space at city hall some 🍕🍕🍕 and CPD says they can’t have it! #NoCopAcademy pic.twitter.com/OHMbTwJQOx— #NoCopAcademy (@monicatea2) March 28, 2018
Chance voiced his own disdain for a new police academy at a City Hall meeting last year.
We'll keep you posted as we receive more updates.