More than 100 arrested at Chicago schools protest

An estimated 5,000 parents, students, teachers, public school employees and community residents rallied in Chicago Wednesday, March 27, 2013, against an announcement by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Public School Board to close 54 public schools in the city next year. The closings will affect more than 30,000 students, primarily in low-income black and Latino areas and will be the largest school closings in American history.

The rally started in Daley Plaza and took to the streets during rush hour in an attempt to tie-up downtown traffic. As the march reached the front of City Hall, more than 100 protesters locked arms and sat in the street in an act of mass civil disobedience. Soon after, one by one, 131 protesters were arrested and lead to waiting police vans.

Chicago Teachers Union vice-president Jesse Sharkey, who was arrested outside City Hall, one of 131 detained by police told The Guardian, “We’re signalling that there is going to be a large and determined movement that will use the tactics of civil disobedience and direct action in order to keep these schools open.” “We see this event as kicking off an extended campaign this spring and we think it was a great success.”