August 1, 2016 –
MAKING CHICAGO A CITY OF PEACE IS NOT MAGIC! IT TAKES WORK
For Immediate Release
August 1, 2016 –
From Justice Or Else – Local Organizing Committee
COMMUNITY LEADERS FROM CHICAGO’S SOUTH AND WEST SIDES ANNOUNCE PLANS TO “KEEP PEACE IN CHICAGO” DURING POLICE UNION PROTEST AND SLOWDOWN ON LABOR DAY WEEKEND
Top community leaders announced plans for mass mobilization of people in ten (10) high-crime areas on Chicago’s South and West sides.
“We are taking responsibility to ensure our communities are stable, peaceful environments for work, rest and play during the Labor Day weekend,” said Minister Jeffrey Muhammad, Co-Chair of the Chicago Justice Or Else Local Organizing Committee.
Both the announcement and mobilization effort are in response to a recent proposal by the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the union representing Chicago Police officers. FOP members are encouraged to turn down voluntary overtime requests during Labor Day weekend “to show unity and protest the continued disrespect of Chicago Police officers and the killings of police officers across our country,” according to a flier sent recently to union members. (Chicago Tribune, 7/26/16)
“By urging Chicago Police officers not to work during what traditionally is a violent weekend, the FOP is all but inviting Purge-like activities as in the movie, The Purge, where the basic plot is an annual American holiday where mayhem and murder are legally sanctioned,” said Phillip Jackson, Executive Director of The Black Star Project. Jackson added. “Instead we intend to counter this pre-planned Purge with our own community peace Surge of good men and women stepping up to make our communities clean and safe.
The community Surge mobilization effort will be formed by a merging students, faith-based organizations, community organizations, street organizations, block clubs, Masons, fraternities, sororities, parents, youth, veterans and the whole city of Chicago to create a physical and spiritual presence intended to discourage violence and promote calm and dialogue.
Chicago recently announced that 5,000 extra patrol officers were on the street during the 4th of July Weekend, requiring many CPD staff to work overtime. Jackson said that the community mobilization is designed to compensate for any missing police presence on Labor Day Weekend by conducting a series of actions including neighborhood peace patrols, interventions and mediations, and youth engagement programs.
In addition, the community leaders’ announcement on Monday will outline a series of demands formed, in part, by the FOP’s proposed work protest. Key among them: hiring 2,000 African-American police officers to fill the currently-understaffed police workforce and a request to invest the overtime savings in the 10 communities serviced by the community peace Surge!