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Monday, October 3, 2022

Friday: Whittier Arrestees to Challenge Police Charges in Wake of Stealth Demolition of Beloved Field House

Charges stem from school officials’ razing on August 17 of beloved La Casita learning center at chronically under-resourced neighborhood public school.

CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—October 17, 2013. Parents and allies arrested defending Whittier Elementary School’s beloved La Casita Fieldhouse from stealth CPS demolition will be in court Friday, October 18 at 1PM to answer charges related to their arrest on August 17. Court hearings will be held in Courtroom 4 at the Cook County Circuit Court facility, located at 3150 W. Flournoy in Chicago.

La Casita was a vital space for students and their allies at the chronically under-resourced public school, say supporters. Parents and allies are demanding that the field house be rebuilt with more than half a million dollars in TIF funds promised – but never delivered – to rehab the destroyed field house. Parents won that funding commitment from CPS brass and 26th Ward Alderman Danny Solis in 2010, after a 43-day occupation by parents and allies to oppose plans to demolish the field house and replace it with a soccer field. Alderman Solis was reported at the time to exploring allowing the proposed soccer field to be used by a private high school, Cristo Rey, across the street from Whittier.

Parents, students and allies have been holding weekly vigils at the Solis’ offices, who cooperated with CPS officials to conceal demolition plans from parents, students and residents.

CPS officials moved under cover of darkness on Friday night, August 16 to demolish the structure, and contract bulldozers razed the field house on Saturday morning after parents, teachers and supporters were arrested trying to blockade the demolition. Alderman Solis and Chicago Public Schools officials broke a last-minute promise to meet with Whittier parents the morning of the demolition, and Solis has steadfastly defended the stealth tear-down, as has Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS officials.

At least 8 people were arrested on Saturday morning, August 17, attempting to defend La Casita from destruction. La Casita parents and supporters will stage a Saturday protest outside Solis’ office at 1401 W. 18th St. in Chicago, beginning at 3:30 PM, as part of the ongoing community effort to get the field house rebuilt.

For more information, contact Whittier parent Lisa Angonese (English-language), 847-609-9379, [email protected]; Whittier parent Angelica Cordova-Cantor Perez (Spanish-language), 312-659-6683; or call 312-446-4939 or email [email protected] To learn more about the Saturday protest, click here: https://www.facebook.com/events/174447876092066/


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