#TraumaCenterNow Activists Face Bond Court this Morning, 2 days After UofC Decision to Arrest Them Instead of Engage in Long-Called for Meeting

Will hold a press conference at  155 W 51st (34th Branch Bond Court), Friday, June 5th at 10 a.m.

CHICAGO, IL -  It has now been two days since nine Trauma Center activists were brutally removed from a peaceful sit-in of the UofC administration building and placed into police custody. Trauma Care Coalition members and supporters will be gathering in solidarity to support the nine activists as they face bond court this morning at 155 W 51St, and will be holding a press conference at 10am.

On Wednesday afternoon, on the eve of the University of Chicago’s Alumni Weekend, members of the Trauma Center Coalition began a peacefully sit-in in the University of Chicago Administration Building, with the goal of procuring a meeting with University President Robert Zimmer, who has refused to meet with the group for over 5 years despite repeated appeals from a variety of local groups and a deepening healthcare crisis and increasing violence on the South Side of Chicago.

Within hours of the group presenting their demands on Wednesday afternoon,  the University of Chicago Police Department and Firefighters cut through drywall with axes, broke through the windows of the administration building, and forcibly removed and arrested the protestors.

Since the arrests, Allies and supporters have maintained a constant presence at the jail and have held a prayer vigil, where this petition was circulated in solidarity with the arrestees.

The Trauma Care Coalition’s week of actions disrupting UChicago’s Alumni Weekend celebrations, launched by the sit-in on Wednesday, will continue with even greater community support throughout the weekend as activists demand the meeting with President Robert Zimmer.

“It continues to amaze and frighten me that the UofC administration would go to such lengths to avoid meeting with Trauma Center Activists,” said Coalition member Danny Kaplan, “President Zimmer’s actions make it clearer and clearer that he doesn’t value black lives on the South Side.”

“The actions of the University on  were profoundly disturbing and made it clear that the ‘reasonable discourse’ that they are always promoting is a myth,” commented Fearless Leading by the Youth member Darrius Lightfoot, “The University showed itself to be a brutal and hostile institution.”

Trauma activists are demanding:

  • UofC file no charges against trauma care activists
  • UofC pursue no disciplinary action against arrested activists

In addition to re-stating the demands of the sit-in:

The community’s demand for trauma care was sparked by the death of Woodlawn youth leader Damian Turner, and is led by the Woodlawn-based Fearless Leading by the Youth, along with the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, Students for Health Equity at the UofC, National Nurses United and many faith groups including the United Church of Christ.

The South Side is currently a trauma desert for adults, meaning that victims of shootings and other serious injuries must be taken over ten miles away, to the Near North Side or south west suburbs. The call for trauma care is also supported by a new study by the Illinois Department of Public Health which states that longer travel times to a trauma center increases the likelihood of dying, the study also states that the U of C is best positioned to expand access to trauma care, and that the U of C could further raise the age limit of their pediatric trauma center.

In the News
“Here’s What U of C Should Do for the City” Crain’s Chicago Business
“Protestors link Obama library with #BlackLivesMatter,” Bloomberg
“UofC Wants to Raise Age Limit at Pediatric Trauma Center,” The Chicago Sun-Times
“UofC Aims to Expand Treatment at Children’s Trauma Center,” The Chicago Tribune
“Chicago Faith Leaders Sing, Pray For A South Side Trauma Center ,” Progress Illinois
“Religious leaders march for South Side trauma center,” Hyde Park Herald
“South Side Hospital Patients Caught in Trauma Deserts,” (Feature Story), Chicago Tribune
“University of Chicago Alumni: No Donations Until Trauma Center Opened,” Progress Illinois
“Chicago needs help, not Obama Library,” LZ Granderson, CNN.com
“Activists protest university’s bid for Obama Library,” USA Today
U of C Barricade Torn Down, 9 Arrested at Trauma Center Protest,” DNAinfo
Trauma Center Protesters Arrested at University of Chicago” Chicago Sun-Times

Follow @TraumaCenterNow and hashtags #TraumaCenterNow, #FreeTCC9, and #StillWaitingUChi on twitter for updates.