Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

School Closure Opponents Arrested at City Hall Demonstration

Several demonstrators blocked elevators in loop protest

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The Chicago Board of Education is expected to vote Wednesday on the planned closure of more than 50 schools. Mary Ann Ahern reports.

Roughly two dozen protesters were arrested Monday afternoon during a demonstration at City Hall aimed at preventing the planned closure of more than 50 Chicago schools.

The rally was part of the Chicago Teachers Union's three days of marches and protests demanding a moratorium on school closures.

Several of those arrested Monday, including CTU Financial Secretary Kristine Mayle, were blocking elevators at City Hall, where demonstrators were intent on delivering petitions to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"We are fighting for our children. We shall not be moved," many of the protesters chanted.

Emanuel and CPS officials say closing schools is a bold but necessary step to improve education and get the nation's third-largest school district on a better financial footing. But many teachers and their supporters say the closures are based on fuzzy math and are altogether unfair because they disproportionately affect students of color and put them in harm's way.

"We are going to continue to put pressure and put pressure on the people that are going to make the decision," Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, who was just re-elected to a second three-year term on Friday, said over the weekend.

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