Health professionals and elected officials are expected to speak out on Monday in support of the Chicago activists who are now in the 29th day of their hunger strike over Dyett High School on the city's South Side.
At two separate events at City Hall today, health professionals and elected officials, including Chicago aldermen and Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, will call on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to negotiate with the 15 activists, most of whom have not had solid foods since August 17, so the hunger strike can end, according to the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett.
Late last month, nearly 20 health organizations and professionals, including Linda Rae Murray, former chief medical officer for the Cook County Department of Public Health, signed onto a letter urging Emanuel to take action to end the hunger strike, which they called a "dangerous health emergency."
Murray and other signatories to the letter will again voice their concerns over the health of the hunger strikers this morning at City Hall.
After that, Commissioner Garcia and Chicago Alds. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th) and Ricardo Munoz (22nd) are slated to appear at an afternoon press conference to ask the mayor to open negations between the school district and the hunger strikers over their list of demands.
The hunger strikers want a "voice in determining the future of the last open enrollment high school in their community."
Amid the hunger strike, the school district announced on September 3 that Chicago's Dyett High School campus, located in Washington Park, will be converted into an arts-focused neighborhood high school plus an "innovation technology lab."
But the hunger strikers, who are in support of turning Dyett into a global leadership and green technology school, are not satisfied with the district's plan and have issued an updated list of demands, which include:
A. We want Green Technology in the name of the school and the primary academic focus.
B. We want world studies and global leadership in the curriculum.
C. The community selects the principal. We want Mr. Duane Turner as the first principal of Dyett.
D. We want our sustainable community school village with the 7 feeders who support our plan.
E. We want Dyett to be a community school, open until the evening with programs for students, parents and community.
F. The pastors who helped to close Dyett and other schools and stood with Forest Claypool on Thursday cannot be involved with Dyett Design Team or programs.
G. We want a fully empowered LSC when the school opens.