On Sunday January 27th, four protesters were harassed, assaulted, and arrested by the University of Chicago Police Department. Among these four was Toussaint Losier, a Ph.D. student in History at the University and a member of Graduate Students United. Toussaint was one of a number of concerned community members peacefully protesting the administration’s decision to construct a $700 million medical center on campus without an adult trauma center to serve Chicago’s South Side residents.
The University of Chicago serves as our dwelling, our social center, and also our workplace. We are horrified and appalled by how our university’s private police force responded to and treated our fellow students and friends. We are equally dismayed by the university administration’s continued failure to respond to the call to better serve its community by reinstating a trauma care center.
Fearless Leading by the Youth (F.L.Y.), one of the leaders of the trauma center campaign, has addressed these issues in the following powerful statement (below), which we strongly urge everyone to read in full. F.L.Y. and Students for Health Equity (SHE), a student organization at UChicago, will be holding a vigil this Friday, February 1, at 12:30PM, meeting at Harper Memorial Library (at the center of the first floor, between the north- and south-facing doors). Many of our members will be there in support, and we invite you to attend. Graduate Students United unflinchingly stands with those involved in the trauma center campaign and affirms that no one should be threatened with or suffer police violence when peacefully protesting in and for their own community.
Today the University of Chicago showed how they feel about youth, especially black youth and allies who support us. We came peacefully to their new building, which they spent over $700 million on. Our point was if you can find that kind of money, you can save lives of the community around you. They are building this big flashy building right in the middle of our neighborhoods but they don’t want to open up their doors to us, you got to flash your insurance card to get your life saved. We want a trauma center for our neighborhood, and as a first step we want them to increase the age limit on their children’s trauma center to 21. Read full text here