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Protesters Rally in Front of Rahm's House, Criticizing City Budget Cuts

By Juan Thompson | July 4, 2013 2:17pm
 The demonstrators took their criticism of the mayor to his front door — literally.
Rahm House Protest
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RAVENSWOOD — As 18 Chicago police officers stood guard, nearly 200 people, many of them teachers, spent their holiday afternoon protesting city budget cuts outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home in Ravenswood on Thursday.

Retired Chicago Public Schools teacher Debby Pope, 61, of Edgewater said she turned out for the protest because Emanuel is “ruining the lives of tens of thousands of school children. He is destroying the city."

The protesters targeted Emanuel after a year that’s seen the controversial closing of 50 public schools and drastic city-wide budget cuts for the rest.

David Orlikoff, 24, a community organizer from Hyde Park, charged Emanuel with “systemically selling off the city to corporate interests.”

A number of speakers echoed Pope and Orlikoff as they criticized the mayor via bullhorn on the sidewalk in front of his house, and the crowd chanted “Cut Rahm, not schools” and “One term-mayor."

Michael Donnelly told the crowd that he and his girlfriend were evicted from their home last year. With no apparent alternative, they occupied a vacant house in Rogers Park, which they fixed up with help from the Anti-Eviction Campaign.

Unfortunately for Donnelly and his girlfriend, another bank bought the foreclosed property and then promptly had the couple removed. They are now homeless.

While Emanuel may not be directly responsible for the woes of Donnelly and others, he was the target of their frustrations Thursday. With Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” blaring in the background, the crowd chanted, “This is what democracy looks like.”