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Dyett Hunger Strike Ends After Protester Warns That She Might Die

By aaroncynic in News on Sep 21, 2015 5:44PM

(Photo via Facebook, courtesy of Dyett Global Leadership & Green Technology HS)
Community activists on hunger strike for more than a month to demand Dyett High School be turned into a green technology and global leadership school when it reopens ended their strike over the weekend. The Tribune reports the group ended the strike after 34 days citing health concerns.

“Your body starts to deteriorate," said Jeanette Taylor-Ramann, a leader of the strike.

In August, the group began a liquids-only diet to push Chicago Public Schools and the Emanuel administration to turn the Bronzeville school, once slated for closure, into a community-based “global leadership and green technology school.” Three proposals, including one for a sports-themed school, one with an arts theme, and the one put forth by the Coalition to Save Dyett’s plan, were presented. Earlier this month, CPS made the decision to move forward with its own plan for an open-enrollment school with an arts base.

“Our objective was to make the decision that best meets our children’s needs, and this plan creates the opportunity for a unique, world-class high school on the south side,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool at the time of the announcement.

The group of protesters however, maintained that the plan ignored several key points, and were left out of much of the conversation on how it would move forward, so they continued their strike until last Saturday. Aisha Wade-Bey told the Sun-Times that the group was concerned at least one among them could die:

“We did not want to see one of our fellow hunger strikers die, and she was not coming off unless everyone was coming off. We were like, ‘OK, we need to try to make an exit plan and go ahead and come off the strike.”

Jitu Brown, another organizer of the strike, told WBEZ they would continue to fight in other ways, saying that the group is mediating with CPS officials and a representative from the Rainbow P.U.S.H. Coalition.