Police cite 127 Chicago schools protesters - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Police cite 127 Chicago schools protesters

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

At the height of rush hour Wednesday, the southbound lanes of La Salle Street near Washington were shut down by protestors staging a sit-in in front of city hall with their arms' interlocked.

The protestors were Chicago Public Schools employees and supporters rallying against the proposed closings of 54 schools.

"This is the largest single closing in history of any city in this country," says Tom Balanoff, President of Service Employees International Union Local 1. "This is a massive city. It's going to put our children in danger and it's not necessary!"

As planned on both sides, one by one, the demonstrators were arrested. The large crowd cheered for each detainee, led away to a holding area across the street.

The 127 protestors were quickly cited and released.

"I feel elated for a good cause," CPS paraprofessional Adeline Bracey said. "Someone needs to stand up to this administration and tell them we will not go quiet into the night."

"My mother was a public school teacher, my kids go to public schools, I marched with them," said a University of Illinois-Champaign professor. "I think mayor is destroying the city."

Patrick Calihan collected each citation. He is an attorney hired by the CTU and SEIU to represent the protestors' in court.

"We notified the city and department of what we'd be doing and they were very, how can I say, understanding about what we have to do to exercise free speech," Calihan said.

Each protestor will have to pay a fine ranging from $45 to $100 depending on what the attorney works out with court.

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