Residents of Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood have struggled for years to halt and reverse the neoliberal assault against the open-enrollment Dyett High School. A Request for Proposals process for Dyett, whose own rules were violated by Chicago Public Schools (CPS), was the proverbial last straw. In response, twelve activists launched a liquid-only hunger strike on August 17, 2015, not to conclude until a number of demands for reopening and restoring the school are met.
Labor Day 2015 marks the 22nd day of the Dyett 12 hunger strike. The hunger strike has galvanized the community, earned local and national media coverage, and widespread buzz on social media. At least three of the Dyett 12 have received medical care during the hunger strike.
Officialdom's response has been lukewarm: Mayor Emanuel agreed to a meeting with Dyett 12 activists, and was chased off the stage of a budget hearing by activists. On September 3, 2015, CPS announced that Dyett will reopen as an open-enrollment, arts-themed high school. The Dyett 12 have rejected the proposal, saying the proposal doesn't fulfill public demands, and have vowed to continue the hunger strike.
Additional Coverage: Democracy Now! | Teachers for Social Justice coverage | Labor Beat (video): The Fight for Dyett High School, 4th Quarter | Think Progress | The Real News Network | The New York Times