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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Mar 18, 2013

Lane Tech Students Hold Morning Sit-In To Protest Persepolis Book Ban

Hundreds of Lane Tech College Prep students staged a sit-in this morning inside the school in response to Chicago Public Schools’ controversial announcement last week that it would remove the graphic novel “Persepolis” from its seventh grade curriculum.

Progress Illinois went to the school as classes began this morning but was told by one of the school’s assistant principals that members of the media were not allowed to attend the sit-in within the school or speak with faculty or students on school property about the protest, or other events, citing CPS’ communications policy.

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
Fri Mar 15, 2013

Illinois Congressmen Push Bills On DOD Audit, Future Of U.S. Physicians & Fracking

Three bills in Congress received co-sponsorship from Illinois legislators this week ranging from a call to audit the Pentagon to an investigation of the environmental and health consequences of fracking. We take a closer look at the bills.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Fri Mar 15, 2013

CTU Preps Parents, Activists For Upcoming Protests Surrounding School Actions (VIDEO)

Last night on Chicago’s West Side, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) hosted the first of two “Citywide Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Trainings” aimed to prepare education activists for upcoming protests and coach them through non-violent protest techniques, such as disruptions, occupations and demonstrations.

The CTU will host a rally and march in downtown Chicago on March 27, just a few days before Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett is set to meet her March 31 deadline to announce the final list of school actions.

Preparing for the worst, CTU is educating parents and activists on the proper practices of non-violent protests. Police arrested 10 protesters in November for rallying against school closings outside City Hall.  They were charged with violating a Chicago trespassing ordinance.

“It’s the willingness to engage in radical acts that are challenging the core of what’s going on,” said Lisa Fithian, a political activist and scholar, who, for decades, has worked as a community organizer on a range of issues. “We need to create conditions that allow for the transformation for us to be more liberated.”

PI Original
by Aricka Flowers
Wed Mar 13, 2013

Second So-Called Progressive Caucus Emerges In Chicago City Council, Begging The Question Of Why?

A second group of aldermen, calling themselves the Paul Douglas Alliance (after the liberal Illinois U.S. Senator and former member of the Chicago City Council), announced they are forming a new so-called progressive caucus. The move comes one day after the council's original progressive caucus, the Progressive Reform Coalition, announced their legislative priorities. Progress Illinois breaks down what the formation of the second progressive caucus could really mean.

Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
Tue Mar 12, 2013

Rally On Social Policies Morphs Into Protest At Ald. Moore's Home (VIDEO)

What started out as a neighborhood gathering in support of various public policy changes quickly turned into a march, which culminated into a rally outside the front doorstep of the home of 49th Ward Chicago Alderman Joe Moore.

A diverse crowd of hundreds that included college students, residents, community activists as well as several elected officials, attended the public meeting held Sunday evening in the Willye White Field House in Rogers Park.

The event, held by the community group Northside P.O.W.E.R., brought together various interests under a common theme of what they described as the “corporatization” of such public concerns as education, healthcare, affordable housing and taxes.

“This is a fight against corporate power and greed,” said Northside P.O.W.E.R. Chairwoman Beth Lanford. “This is a fight against the corporatization of our society. We must stop the process of turning our common good into their private gain.”