#NoCopAcademy is a grassroots campaign launched by Assata’s Daughters, Black Lives Matter - Chicago, People’s Response Team, For The People Artists Collective, and many more grassroots organizations to mobilize against Rahm Emanuel’s plans to spend $95 million for a massive training center for Chicago police in West Garfield Park on the city’s West Side. We refuse any expansion of policing in Chicago, and demand accountability for decades of violence. Instead, we demand resources for schools and youth. This video offers the unique perspective of students who attend school one block away from the current cop academy, and young people who live adjacent to the site of the proposed expanded cop academy. What does it feel like to go to school next to cops every day? What would it feel like to have a shooting range, live scenario trainings, and a swimming pool for police next door to your high school gymnasium? What would you really need to feel safe in your neighborhood? In addition to centering the experiences that Black youth and youth of color have had with police in their communities, this piece goes the extra step by highlighting the ways young people are at the forefront of one of the most pressing issues in Chicago. The youth organizing team of #NoCopAcademy are organizing meetings, engaging their neighbors, meeting with City Council, engaged in direct action - all to demand an end to the violences that Black young people have experienced at the hands of the police and the city alike, and to demand schools for kids, not cops.
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Interviewees: Asha & Deja (Whitney Young High School); Brion & Robert (Orr High School); Nita (#NoCopAcademy)
Written, Directed, & Produced by Caullen Hudson
Produced by David A. Moran, Asha Edwards, and Debbie Southorn
Cinematography by Dakota Sillyman
Additionally Cinematography by Xenon Zeigler
Drone Photography by Ben Jassin
Whitney Young Liaison & Production Sound by Joanna Preston
Direct Action Footage by Tom Callahan of Sensitive Visuals
The #NoCopAcademy campaign has been a topic of discussion and analysis in many Bourbon 'n BrownTown podcast episodes as well as BrownTown guest appearances on other podcasts. Check them out!
Bourbon 'n BrownTown
- Ep. 11 - Chi DNA: Intersectionality, #NoCopAcademy, Activist Art, & Organizing the Newly Radicalized ft. Ruby Pinto
- Ep. 13 - Chi DNA: Black History & Resistance in Chicago ft. Kofi Ademola
- Ep. 14 - Chi DNA: Electoral v. Radical Politics ft. Camille Williams