“It’s disgusting,” said a Whittier mother of the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) latest attempt to demolish the community center and library known as “La Casita.” Last fall, the Whittier parents kept the building open with a heroic and grueling 43-day sit-in. After following all CPS stipulations on how to keep the center open, La Casita parents were surprised when demolition workers showed up with permits. This shows that no matter how hard workers fight, the bosses will lie, cheat and steal to get what they want. Regardless, the parents quickly jumped into action to stop the CPS demolition.
The next day, with the demolition crew scheduled to arrive at 6 AM., the Whittier parents, with support from the community, mobilized 60 workers, teachers and students to begin a new sit-in. Only one demolition worker showed up at 6:30 AM, scouting the area to check on the protest. A PLP member and a La Casita mother attempted to win this worker’s support. He refused. With true working-class solidarity, the Whittier mother gave the worker her phone number, saying that while the bosses aren’t coming for your neighborhood now, they will be soon, and we can help.
At 7:45 AM, the Chicago KKKops blocked off all roads leading into La Casita. In response to this fascist attack, PLP members and allies went door-to-door in the neighborhood informing residents about the situation, trying to get them involved in the fight-back. This made many sit-in’ers feel more confident that no matter what CPS and the KKKops did, we would respond.
At the heart of this struggle are the CPS’ lies. They planned to build a library in the adjacent school by cutting in half two classrooms that are already overcrowded, with 30 or more students. Additionally, this second-floor library would be inaccessible to handicapped students since the school has no elevator. A CPS spokesperson pretended to care about the students’ well-being, saying it doesn’t make sense to have services outside the school. Yet CPS refuses to renovate the school “cafeteria” where students eat in a basement with sewage water running on the ground.
The mass media has helped to spread pro-CPS distortions, stating, “Parents protest construction of library” without giving the parents’ side of the story. However, it makes sense that the bosses’ media would further the bosses’ interests against the working class.
PLP will continue to lead, and be led by, the valiant parents of La Casita in order to save the center from demolition. Yet we must fight the cause of this and all working-class struggles: capitalism. To do this, we ask La Casita parents and friends to join PLP to fight for a communist revolution. Only with a communist victory in that battle will workers be able to breathe easy, without the bosses’ (like those in CPS) boot on our necks.