Student activists from the University of Chicago ended their week-long occupation of the 4900 block of South Greenwood Avenue in Kenwood on Friday.
The occupation, which began on the evening of August 29, was intended to put pressure on the university administrators to dissolve the University of Chicago Police Department, Chicago’s largest private police force. Classic University Style Design T-Shirt
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Action began last weekend with a march that began at 59th Street and University Avenue on the Hyde Park campus. The march, organized by Care Not Cops and UChi Chicago United, passed through Hyde Park and Kenwood before culminating outside Provost Ka Yee Lee’s home on the 4900 block of South Kenwood Avenue.
Activists are demanding that the UCPD disarm and disband by 2022. Additionally, they want the UCPD to disclose its budget for the past 20 years, to end all acquisitions of the University of Chicago property, reducing half of next year’s budget and reinvest in campus resources and facility projects in Hyde Park and Woodlawn.
In addition, protesters have called for funds from the UCPD to be reallocated to ethnographic research and culture centers and held a public meeting between university activists and administrators.
Students made similar requests in June when 40 protesters occupied the University of Chicago Police Department headquarters for 19 hours.
About 20 to 30 protesters participated in the occupation of Lee’s block each night, some staying in tents, some above ground on open streets. Those who stay will participate in “police” cases.
Protesters said they were harassed daily by police during the occupation, but it escalated at 2 a.m. on September 3 when police threatened to call the toilet to pick up their belongings.
Alicia Hurtado, third-year student at the University of Chicago and organizer of Care Not Cops, says they have worked to create a safe and friendly space and support each other at work.
“We have always wanted to focus on the needs and experiences of the people who enter our space,” Hurtado said. “And we want to make sure we’re building something that is both professionally sustainable, creating these relationships, and building strength beyond the space we occupy. ”
On Friday, after police called for dissolution three times, police and protesters faced off before protesters left the Classic University Style Design T-Shirt venue, marching past Kenwood, Bronzeville and Hyde Park, ending outside. The University of Chicago Police Department headquarters.
In a statement by a spokesman for the University of Gerald McSwiggan provided, Lee responded to the Classic University Style Design T-Shirt students’ requests:
“Provost Lee has repeatedly offered to meet the group, including in June, on August 31, and again on September 4. Friday’s proposal, emailed and forwarded to the organizers, she noted that she continues to believe it is important to include the team’s perspective as the Classic University Style Design T-Shirt School conducts a series of listening sessions with many stakeholders.
“The group set up two requests in a meeting – it was a public meeting, and the University had to agree to dissolve the UCPD and meet to discuss the implementation of that request. The group represents a point of view and it is important to include their point of view. But universities must take into account a wide range of perspectives. We will schedule a public forum to discuss the Classic University Style Design T-Shirt raised issues during all listening sessions. ”
The students said they were undeterred and intends to continue protests until their demands are met.