Police | Politics

Cognitive Dissidence

Chicago’s abolitionists make space for conversation after the Van Dyke trial

Jedidiah Brown, middle, erupted in cheers with a crowd as they watch the broadcasted verdict for Jason Van Dyke outside Cook County. Jason Van Dyke, a white Chicago Police Officer, was convicted of Second Degree Murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm for each of shots in the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Soon after the conviction, Chicago activist took to the streets in protest for police reform, chanting, "CPD! Guilty of conspiracy." (Sebastián Hidalgo)

The evening after the Van Dyke verdict came down, Trina Reynolds-Tyler took to Instagram to ask her followers a simple question: “What is justice for Laquan McDonald?” An organizer and abolitionist, Reynolds-Tyler has been involved with activism around the McDonald shooting since before it caught the public’s attention.

Activism | Immigration | Police | Politics

Know Your Movements: The #EraseTheDatabase Campaign

The organizers working to reform and abolish the city’s gang database

Kahari Black

In the coming months before the February municipal elections, the Weekly will be profiling not only the candidates for public office, but also the grassroots movements that shape the political landscape in Chicago communities. Over the next few months, we will be asking mayoral and aldermanic candidates about their positions on each of these movements.

Immigration | Interviews | La Vida de La Villita | Little Village | Police

Tania Unzueta

An organizer challenges the way we think about—and police—immigration today

Dan Rowell

Tania Unzueta is a fierce advocate for the rights of undocumented immigrants around the country. She helped found the three organizations that defend the rights of immigrants, including Organized Communities Against Deportation and its predecessor the Immigrant Youth Justice League, and Mijente, a national Latinx organization. She was first arrested for staging a sit-in in Senator John McCain’s office in 2010 in support of the Dream Act. These days, she continues to work with OCAD and serves as the policy director for Mijente, a political hub that calls itself pro-Latinx, pro-Black, pro-woman, pro-queer and pro-poor.

Activism | Features | Police | Politics

The Fight Over Chicago’s Largest Private Police Force

Organizers return to challenging the University of Chicago Police Department's practices—this time with a more radical agenda

#CareNotCops organizers march to the occupation site (milo bosh)

On the night of April 3, an officer of the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) shot a student in the grips of a mental health crisis. Charles Thomas, who had been wielding a metal pole and smashing windows, and who the officer identified as undergoing a mental health crisis before shooting him in the shoulder, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Streeterville to receive treatment. Over the following two weeks, he was charged with eight felonies, including assaulting a police officer.

Activism | Police | Politics

We Got Power, and We Got Love

The Chicago Torture Justice Center honors the mothers of police torture survivors

Maddie Anderson

Reparations Won!” a white sheet cake boasted in blue lettering. The names of survivors of torture by detectives within the Chicago Police Department hung from clotheslines draped across the walls. A dozen cardstock letters from CPD torture survivors who remain in prison dangled by pink string from the ceiling. On orange and pink post-it notes, questions like “What do you want the world to know about your mom?” and “What gives you hope?”—and corresponding answers like “Artists give me hope!”—colored the windows. A microphone stand arose from a makeshift stage set up in front of two large banners reading “Consent is Everything” and “You Are Never Alone.” Among all of this, over fifty activists, young and old—torture survivors, their mothers, and their allies—greeted each other, hugged, ate, and mingled.

Police | Visual Arts

Remembering the Riots, Fifty Years Later

Artists and activists explore the question of how much Chicago, and the Chicago police, have changed since 1968

Maddie Anderson

Fifty years after the Kerner Report, are we going backwards? This is the underlying question of “April 1968 and Today: Police and Military Occupation of Chicago” at the Uri-Eichen Gallery in Pilsen, part of the gallery’s five-month series “Unfinished Business: 1968-2018.”

Police | Politics | Visual Arts

Stories of Reform and Resistance

For the People Artists Collective chronicles a history of police violence in Chicago

Kiran Misra

Do Not Resist?,” For the People Artists Collective’s 2018 exhibition closed last Friday, February 9 after nearly a month of interdisciplinary generative installations and events across the city. From a training in the basics of cop watching to panels about topics including the abolition ofolf the prison industrial complex and reporting on police violence, the programming engaged thousands of Chicagoans in a conversation about the history of police violence in the city and alternatives to policing in Chicago.