Chicago Teachers Union & Supporters March and Occupy Bank of America for Fair Contract

A major target of the Chicago Teachers Union march for a fair contract was Bank of America. Reading the local media, you would have no idea why that was the case. More »

The Forgotten Syrian Refugees of Jordans Zaatari Camp

Omar Alzein describes his recent medical aid trip to the Zaatari Syrian Refugee Camp in Jordan and how his experiences there were nothing like what he expected. More »

Yemen: The Other U.S. Supported War in the Middle East

Tsedenya Bizani describes the current crisis in the war in Yemen that both the U.S. and the rest of the world seem to have forgotten. Bizani interviews a Chicago Yemeni family member who can’t forget the toll it’s taken on her family and community. More »

Why is the Demand for Community Control of the Chicago Police Being Ignored?

The Mayor and City Council have consistently ignored demands for community control of the Chicago Police. It’s beyond time to implement this real change. More »


#Cruz Control


#Cruz Control

(click image to enlarge)

VanessaThis cartoon was written/drawn by Vanessa Valadez.

The views expressed in this cartoon are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Chicago Monitor’s editorial policy.

Chicago Teachers Union & Supporters March and Occupy Bank of America for Fair Contract


By Bill Chambers

More than three thousand teachers, staff, parents, students, and their supporters marched in Chicago yesterday for a fair contract for the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). The protest was in response to the threat of $100 million in cuts by CPS the day before. The protest centered on the Bank of America office on LaSalle Street to highlight the CTU demand for CPS to renegotiate toxic interest swap agreements with the bank. The day before members of the CTU visited the bank and withdrew $726 million of union funds deposited there. While protestors circled the building, sixteen union members sat down in the bank lobby and chanted. All were arrested and charged with misdemeanor trespassing and detained for six hours at CPD District One headquarters. One local media station suggested “The union is trying to broaden its contract argument by going after the banks, not just CPS” but then don’t explain why the CTU is “going after the banks.” At the very end of the Chicago Tribune coverage it said “At one point Thursday, demonstrators staged a sit-in at the Bank of America building to protest financial deals engineered by CPS administrators” without any further explanation. It’s the approach of the local media to suggest that this is just another union going after bankers. So why did CTU do a sit-in at the Bank of America?

Op Ed – Would the Chicago FAIR COPS Ordinance Make a Difference?


During a winter marked by painful revelations of violence at the hands of the Chicago Police Department (CPD), Chicago’s Community Renewal Society has finally found the momentum to push its FAIR COPS Ordinance (FAIR COPS). As a representative of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, an organization dedicated to stopping police crimes and impunity, I have been hesitant to come out forcefully against CRS’s proposal. Unfortunately, FAIR COPS, if enacted, would do far worse than merely “nothing.” It would draw valuable momentum away from of the movement in which it claims a part, and would further complicate the bureaucratic superstructure into which complaints about the CPD already disappear with dubious ease.

CTU Rejects CPS Contract Offer That Increased Public Schools Instability


By Bill Chambers

Yesterday, the forty member CTU contract negotiating team unanimously rejected a CPS offer proposed that would have added not only more fiscal instability to Chicago’s public school system, but also to the classroom environment of the students.

The Anti-Immigrant Backlash of the Cologne Sexual Assaults


By Megan Zacher

According to police reports and witness testimony, on December 31st, 2015, 1,000 drunk men of North African or Arab descent gathered at the city center and train station of Cologne, Germany. From there, they gathered into smaller groups, surrounded women and began to threaten and attack them. Initially, there were approximately 90 complaints from women in the area but this number has quickly risen to almost 900 reports, of which 500 are sexual assault complaints. In the wake of the arrival of over 1 million refugees into Germany, the initial blame of these attacks has fallen on these new populations.

The Forgotten Syrian Refugees of Jordan’s Zaatari Camp

A girl waiting for the doctor in the ER.

Bombs fall from the sky on the Syrian town of Daraa. A mother loses a son, a little girl loses her brother, and a child loses an untold future. The hopeful faces of those who marched in the massive demonstrations are now plagued with anguish, because for them home no longer exists. Their cities have been gutted, their work places demolished, and their sanctity diminished. On videos we can see the dismembered bodies of children and city dwellers and they make our stomachs turn, but what we miss outside the camera frame are their stories. We do not know them as the merchant, the engineer, or the doctor. Those who witnessed the death of their co-workers and classmates now cross dangerous waters and flee to bordering countries not only to escape one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time, but to run away from the horrors they have witnessed with their own eyes.

Little Village Forces CPS to Postpone Co-Location Proposal But Fight Far From Over


By Bill Chambers

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) emailed a cryptic press statement on Tuesday evening stating “CPS has postponed the proposed Saucedo/Spry colocation at the request of the community. We will hold regular meetings with stakeholders to seek more input.” The statement was released to the press and not the families and teachers in the community who have been fighting against the CPS proposal to co-locate Spry High School with Saucedo and Telpochcalli Elementary Schools. After the last CPS sponsored “community input” meeting held at Saucedo Academy last week, parents occupied the building until their demands for a community proposal were met. So the CPS announcement that the co-location proposal had been postponed was a great victory for the activism of the community. But is CPS really able to “seek more input” from the community?  The CPS press release sent on Tuesday was in English –  Little Village is a majority Latino community.

Pay No Attention to the Bags Behind the Podium


Hillary Bernie Money Bags

(click image to enlarge)

VanessaThis cartoon was written/drawn by Vanessa Valadez.

The views expressed in this cartoon are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Chicago Monitor’s editorial policy.

Op Ed – Professor Hawkins Punished for Supporting “One Nation under God and Justice for All”


By Liqa Affaneh

Professor Larycia Hawkins is being punished for standing in solidarity with Muslims during a time where Islamophobia remains a reality amongst other countless, discriminatory realities Americans continue to face, even as we have entered a new year in the 21st century. Professor Hawkins’ actions have been recently challenged by Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian school in a Chicago suburb, where she holds the position of a tenured associate professor of political science.

Op Ed – U.S. Department of Justice: The Clock Is Ticking on Police Crime in Chicago


The United States Department of Justice has opened its investigation of the Chicago Police Department, focusing on “…CPD’s use of force, including racial, ethnic and other disparities in their use of force, and its systems of accountability…” Department of Justice (DOJ) investigators were even called to the crime scene of the blatant police murders of Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones. The victims and survivors of police crimes in Chicago have been calling on the DOJ to intervene in our city, where there are no systems of accountability – only an ongoing culture of impunity. We eagerly await the DOJ’s findings but, by experience, have no illusions that change can come from any branch of government.