community members held a Saturday afternoon vigil outside Whittier
Elementary to mourn the loss of the school’s fieldhouse, which was
completely demolished earlier that morning due to safety concerns cited
by the Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
Community members and parents said CPS
gave them no notice before demolition crews showed up Friday night to
start tearing down the fieldhouse, known as La Casita, that served as a
volunteer-run community center owned by CPS.
A number of
protestors spent the night outside the fieldhouse Friday, and 10
people were arrested after they tried to stop the building from being
leveled early Saturday morning. Chicago Police News Affairs confirmed on
Sunday that nine individuals were charged with criminal trespass and
one protestor was charged with criminal damage to property, both of
which are misdemeanors.
“I am outraged,” La Casita’s Executive
Director Lisa Angonese said at the vigil as bulldozers cleared away the
rubble. “This is completely uncalled for. They came in unannounced. They
showed us no work permits with no notice. Not even a knock on the door.
Not even a phone call.” Read more »