On May 20th, Action Now's Executive Director Katelyn Johnson and leader Tommy Brown were arrested for engaging in a sit-in at City Hall to protest Mayor Emanuel's plan to close 54 Chicago public schools. Johnson and Brown joined 24 other parents, teachers and community leaders in an act of civil disobedience by blocking the entrance of every elevator on the first floor of City Hall. They sat down, linked arms and sang protest songs until the police came and handcuffed them.
The sit-in occurred after the group delivered petitions to the Mayor’s office calling for an end to school closings. At the same time that they were taking arrests, Chicagoans that participated in the 3 Day March For Education Justice were descending on Daley Plaza.
Once the arrests were announced, marchers traveled to City Hall and formed a human chain around the building while singing and chanting in solidarity with arrestees.
Two days later, on May 22nd, Action Now members traveled to the State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois to demand that the General Assembly pass a moratorium to stop the largest school closings action in history.
Action Now leaders Joseph Pughsley, Donna Roberts, Adeline Bracey and Tommy Brown and other supporters blocked the entrance to the Illinois General Assembly chambers to pressure legislators to take action. By refusing to move until they were arrested, members showed legislators that the community will not stand by while children and families are put in danger by the Mayor and Board of Education’s senseless school closing policies.