Filed under: Action, Education, Midwest, Police
Today It’s Going Down received a press release that students and community members had occupied the Chancellor’s Office at the Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale. To see a roundup of actions and to get background about why people are fighting the construction of two Cop Academies in Illinois, check out Cutting Class here.
Today, students and community members took action, by occupying the office of the Chancellor at SIU in Carbondale. On Twitter the group, Save SIU wrote:
Currently occupying the chancellor’s office demanding that he release a statement today that there will be no police academy at SIUC and that all processes regarding its implementation will be halted immediately.
In a press release sent to It’s Going Down, the group stated:
We, the people of the SIU community, demand that the chancellor’s office release a statement today (4-5-2018) that there will be no police academy, public safety institute, or anything else resembling a police training institute at SIUC and that all processes regarding its implementation will be halted immediately.
Actions in both Chicago and Carbondale, IL have been ongoing, as two parallel struggles have broken out by different groups and crews to oppose the construction of two cop training facilities. As Cutting Class wrote:
In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel is seeking to invest $95 million into a new police academy on the west side of Chicago. In Chicago, 40 percent of the budget goes to police while the city continues to shut down schools in black and latinx communities. Community members and students have been pushing back, through canvassing, rallies, sit-ins, and speeches to city hall. “No Cop Academy,” was one of the many demands enumerated by the Chicago students who walked out on March 14th. Mayor Emmanuel has encountered protests outside of Chicago as well, with students at Harvard & UCLA protesting his speeches at their schools.
Meanwhile in Carbondale, on the southern side of Illinois, students at Southern Illinois University have been fighting against a proposal to establish the deceptively named “School of Justice and Public Safety,” as part of the Chancellor’s reorganization plan for the school. Their militant refusal follows a long legacy of struggle at SIU, where students in 1970 organized a strike that shut down the school for a semester in protest of the CIA-backed “Center for Vietnamese Studies.” In a video released by the campaign–part call to action, part statement of purpose–the students & professors outline their opposition to the police based in a recognition of the cops as agents of the white ruling class. They criticize the Chancellor’s disingenuous “changes” to the proposal, and remain steadfast in their call to oppose the cop academy.
To stay up on the struggle, follow Save SIU on Twitter and the #NoCopAcademy hashtag.