Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's budget town hall meeting got shut down Wednesday night after Dyett protesters took over the stage, which caused security to lead Emanuel away from the scene.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the protesters went on stage after Emanuel failed to answer audience questions about what the plan is for the now-closed Dyett High School, 555 E. 51st St. The disruption resulted in the budget meeting ending early.
The Chicago Public Schools district has accepted proposals to reopen Dyett, which closed this past school year after being slated for phaseout in 2012. The Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School has submitted one of three proposals for the Dyett site.
Twelve education activists have been on a hunger strike for the past 17 days in an effort to advance the coalition's long-proposed plan to open a global leadership and green technology high school at Dyett.
"Twelve people have been on a hunger strike for 17 days, three of them have been hospitalized in the process, and these people are coming closer and closer to death to get a school. That's why I went on that stage," Jawanza Malone, executive director of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, a key group behind the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School, told the newspaper after the meeting was disrupted.
Wednesday's budget town hall meeting, held at the South Shore Cultural Center, was the second of three that Emanuel is holding this week. Emanuel also faced a raucous crowd at Monday's budget meeting, during which people chanted and spoke out in support of the Dyett hunger strikers.
"All we're asking is for a quality school in a neighborhood. It doesn't take five years, 17 days or to the end of a meeting to make a decision," Malone added. "The mayor is refusing to make a decision."
Click through for more on the Dyett hunger strike. Progress Illinois' past coverage of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett's push for its global leadership and green technology school proposal can be found here.
Emanuel's third and final budget town hall meeting will take place Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett Ave.