Show Your Support

We Charge Genocide Supports the Dyett Hunger Strikers

Education Not Criminalization

We Charge Genocide Supports the Dyett Hunger Strikers

August 25, 2015


Today is the ninth day of the Dyett hunger strike, and grandmother Irene Robinson is now in Provident Hospital. Ms. Robinson is just one of the dozen parents, grandparents, teachers, and community members who have put their bodies on the line to #FightForDyett--a successful community school in Bronzeville that over the years was disinvested in and targeted for closure by Chicago Public Schools until it was phased out. The school now sits shuttered.

The continued assault on high quality public education in Black communities is another form of violence against Black youth in Chicago. Like arbitrary and invasive stops and frisks on Chicago streetsthe same streets on which these schools are being closededucational inequities serve as a reminder that young Black people are not valued by the City of Chicago. It also sends the message that Black neighborhoods do not deserve the same development opportunities as other neighborhoods, even while they are heavily policed.

It is deeply powerful that the Dyett hunger strike, led primarily by Black women, is happening during Black August, a month of study and action that often includes fasting in solidarity with political prisoners and Black people killed by state violence.

Dyett’s slated closure is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his appointed CPS Board’s ongoing effort to undermine high quality public education, community schools, and the Chicago Teachers Union. This was most dramatically displayed by the 2012 teachers’ strike and the 2013 closure of 50 neighborhood schools serving mostly Black students and employing mostly Black teachers and staff. The mayor’s undermining of public schools and preference for privatization and wresting school decisions away from communities of color is racist educational policy meant to reshape Chicago for the wealthy and the white.  The neglect and punishment of youth through inadequate educational access in Black neighborhoods is all part of a slow genocide of our communities.

We Charge Genocide recognizes that abolishing systems of oppression, including prisons and police, also requires continued investment in strong community institutions — including strong neighborhood community schools.

 We rise in solidarity with the community leaders at Dyett, and urge you to join us in supporting them however you are able.

The Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School helped develop a proposal for a Global Leadership and Green Technology High School that we would love to see in action. Dyett has hosted successful community-run initiatives before, including when it was a leader in Restorative Justice, decreasing student arrests by 83% in one year. Restorative justice in schools is an essential part of dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and building the world without police that we long to see.


The twelve Dyett Hunger Strikers (from top left): Dr. Aisha Wade-Bey, Anna Jones, April Stogner, Cathy Dale, Irene Robinson, Jeanette Taylor-Ramann, Jitu Brown, Marc Kaplan, Dr. Monique Redeaux-Smith, Nelson Soza, Prudence Browne, and Rev. Robert Jones. Photos by Phillip Cantor.


Call Mayor Emanuel at (312) 744-3300, Alderman Will Burns at (773) 536-8103, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool at (773) 553-1500 and tell them that you support the Dyett hunger strikers and demand that they meet with them and support the community’s wishes for the Dyett Global Leadership & Green Technology HS.

Along with political education and demonstration, Black August is traditionally a time for fasting and sacrifice in solidarity. Please visit the Dyett hunger strikers and consider joining them in solidarity fastsalready being participated in by hundreds of individuals around the country today.

Search the hashtags #FightForDyett and #WeAreDyett, and spread news of the hunger strike far and wide. Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors about the connections between strong community-run schools and all forms of state violence against Black people.




Reparations for Survivors of Chicago Police Torture- TAKE ACTION

 The Reparations Ordinance for Chicago Police Torture Survivors is a proposed city council ordinance that seeks redress for victims of documented police torture under former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge.

WHEREAS, the City of Chicago acknowledges that former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and detectives under his command systematically engaged in acts of torture, physical abuse and coercion of African American men and women at Area 2 and 3 Police Headquarters from 1972 through 1991; and

WHEREAS, the acts of torture committed by Burge and detectives under his command included electrically shocking individuals on their genitals, lips and ears with an electric shock box or cattle prod; suffocating individuals with plastic bags; subjecting individuals to mock  execution with guns; physical beatings with telephone books and rubber hoses; and other forms of physical and psychological abuse; and

WHEREAS, Burge and his men committed these acts of torture and abuse to extract confessions from the victims which were subsequently admitted against them in their criminal prosecutions resulting in their wrongful convictions; and

WHEREAS, these acts of torture, physical abuse and coercion violate state, federal and international law and such acts are universally condemned worldwide..”
—- Excerpt from the official text of the Reparations Ordinance. 

For the full text of the Reparations Ordinance:

For FAQs on  Reparations Ordinance:

For more on Jon Burge:

Among other demands, the Reparations Ordinance would require the city to administer financial reparations to all Burge torture survivors who are unable to sue for monetary damages because the statute of limitations for their claims has expired. The proposed ordinance would also provide all torture survivors and their families with tuition-free education at City Colleges; create a center on the South Side of Chicago that would provide psychological counseling, health care services and vocational training to those affected by law enforcement torture and abuse; require Chicago Public Schools to teach about these cases and sponsor the construction of public torture memorials. And it asks the city’s leaders to issue a formal apology to those who were tortured and their communities.  The ordinance currently has the support of 26 aldermen in Chicago as well as an array of organizations including Amnesty International.  We want to to pass the ordinance this winter- and we just need one more alderperson to support.



This Tuesday, December 16th, there is an important action in Chicago to raise visibility and also put pressure on Mayor Emanuel  to support this ordinance.

Please tell everyone you know to come and bring their friends.  If you can’t be there in person, please help us get the word out on social media and please make calls to Rahm’s office between noon and 5.

Brief summary of events: March at Noon, Memorial at City Hall at 2pm AND twitter storm 2pm-3pm, phone calls to Mayor’s office all day!!


Take Action:

1. Call your ward office & ask why your alderperson is not yet supporting the ordinance. Let them know 26 others already are.

2. Organize others in your ward to meet directly with your alderperson to let them know you want them to sign on as a co-sponsor.

3. If they still refuse to commit, organize creative actions in your ward to put pressure on them. Do it this month & in January.

4. Join discussion online #RahmRepNow.

List of aldermen that do not yet support the Reparations Ordinance:

Robert Fioretti (2nd)
Natasha Holmes (7th)
Michelle Harris (8th)
Anthony Beale (9th)
John Pope (10th)
James Balcer (11th)
George A. Cardenas (12th)
Marty Quinn (13th)
Ed Burke (14th)
JoAnn Thompson (16th)
Latasha Thompson (17th)
Matthew O’Shea (18th)
Michael Zalewski (23rd)
Deborah Graham (29th)
Ariel E. Rebroyras (30th)
Ray Suarez (31st)
Carrie Austin (34th)
Timothy M. Cullerton (38th)
Margaret Laurino (39th)
Patrick J. O’Connor (40th)
Mary O’Connor (41st)
Tom Tunney (44th)
Harry Osterman (48th)
Debra Silverstein (50th)

Print amnesty


Bond Davontae and LaKendra out of jail!!

DeSean Pittman was killed by the Chicago police on August 25th, 2014, the same day as Roshad McIntosh.  On August 27,  during a candlelight vigil honoring this young person’s life, CPD officers came to the gathering and provoked the crowd’s pain and anger. A series of altercations resulted.  After also tearing down memorial posters for DeSean and kicking over candles, police arrested eight people and then charged five with serious felonies. Amoung those arrested where DeSean’s mother as well as Davontae Ruth and LaKendra Lottie, both young people.  DeSean’s mother has since been released through fundraising efforts of the community but continuing to fundraise to bail out Davontae and LaKendra is essential.
Donate Here

Details of the case from the fundraiser website:

“We successfully raised $7,500 required to bond DeSean’s mother out of jail the evening before her son’s funeral.  Unfortunately, 3 young people remain in Cook County Jail and still need your support.  Davontae Ruth, 18-years-old, faces mob action charges and we need put up $2,500 to get him out.  LaKendra Lottie, 19-years-old, faces ridiculous aggravated battery of a police officer charges and we need to raise $10,000 to get her out.  The third youth, Derrick Wince, 26, is not eligible for bond at this time but we will be writing letters, visiting, and showing up to support him during his court dates moving forward.

$12,500 is a lot of money.  Yet the lives of two young people have been brutally interrupted and we cannot afford to let them sit in Cook County Jail, a notoriously horrible place, while their cases could take years to resolve.  LaKendra has a job, Davontae has school.  Both of their families want their children home with them, and they appreciate your support.  In the wake of a national upsurge in anti-police brutality and anti-racist organizing, it is imperative that Chicago activists show their support for the youth standing up for their rights who bare the brunt of police repression.”

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons