Young activists in Chicago are waging a campaign against Cook County’s state’s attorney, Anita Alvarez, the prosecutor who took more than a year to press charges against Chicago Police Department officer Jason Van Dyke for fatally shooting Laquan McDonald.
The latest blow in the #ByeAnita battle came this morning (February 24), when members of BYP100, Assata’s Daughters and Black Lives Matter Chicago came together to disrupt an event meant to raise funds for Alvarez’s reelection. The coalition released a statement about this morning’s action, which reads, in part:
We will not be silent while the Chicago business and political elite continue to support Alvarez, who has presided over the “false confession capital” while protecting murderous CPD officers, agents of one of the most violent police forces in the world.
Anita Alvarez is responsible for protecting law enforcement officers that extinguish the voices and lives of Black people. By refusing to prosecute officers that kill, abuse, and sexually assault Black people, Alvarez encourages a culture of exceptionally lawless policing.
As young Black voters, it is our duty to disrupt politics as usual because American democracy is killing us and asking us to remain silent while doing so….
We reiterate our demands: as a means to secure safer futures for Black people we demand the end to cash bail. We demand an investigation of the State’s Attorney office for extensive cover-ups of police crimes. We demand an end to all mandatory minimum sentencing in Cook County. We demand the defunding and ultimate closing of the Cook County juvenile detention center and Cook County jail. We want a redirection of funds saved to support mental health clinics; housing for youth, homeless and nearly homeless; jobs for young people and the unemployed; fully funded schools and crisis centers.
We believe that our demands cannot be met with the current State’s Attorney administration, so we ask that voters throughout Cook County show up to vote March 15th and vote against Anita Alvarez for the office of State’s Attorney.
From chants of “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Anita Alvarez has to go” to the men who attempt to physically move the protestors from their post, watch a video of the disruption below, courtesy of Progress Illinois.
Progress Illinois: Activists Protest Outside Anita Alvarez Event https://t.co/Mz55TRZ7RY
— Illinois ICYMI (@IllinoisICYMI) February 24, 2016
This was just the latest of many actions lead by local organizers, which included pushing Alvarez to leave a campaign event at The University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics last week.