Jun 15, 2020
Young people held a pair of rallies on Chicago’s North and South sides, calling for police to be completely removed from schools. These rallies were part of the larger movement in response to the racist police murder of George Floyd. Youth organizer and former Mayoral candidate Ja’Mal Green rallied protestors at a CPS Network office in the Bronzeville neighborhood. One attendee summarized the demands: “We are here today to tell CPS we don’t need them in our schools no more.”
In devastated black neighborhoods on Chicago’s South and West sides, the ruling class offers next to nothing to the younger generations. Unemployment in neighborhoods like Austin was in double digits before the pandemic. This wealthy country has resources to provide education, health care, employment, a good life. But in Austin, Englewood and Roseland, the ruling class leaves the population mired in poverty, marginal jobs and violence. The ruling class uses the police to keep a lid on—though as we saw, sometimes people blow the lid off.
The city places armed police officers in every school in poor neighborhoods—students can stare at the opening to the “School to Prison Pipeline” every day. The police are a constant reminder to the students of the complete lack of a future—and a constant threat of violence. Students’ desire to remove the police from the schools is understandable. But removing police from the schools will not, by itself, address any of the problems in the surrounding neighborhoods. And the ruling class has shown, again and again, that it has no intention of taking on those problems. After all, any money invested in poor neighborhoods would come out of their pocketbook. To provide a real future, we will need to end this society, built on exploitation.