PARK MANOR — Three South Side aldermen had toddler-sized coffins filled with raisins and play money left at their home and another at his office on Friday night by protesters.
A dozen protesters from the Black Youth Project 100 left the coffins at the homes of Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), Ald. Will Burns (4th) and Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) and the office of Ald. Willie Cochran (20th).
The group said it was trying to send black aldermen a message against investing in more police in the city.
“We’re of the view that more investment in police is an investment in more violence in our communities,” said Damon Williams, an organizer for the group.
The group called on the four alderman to break off their support for the mayor and push for more investment in housing and education in the communities they represent.
At each home, the group was met with closed doors, except at Sawyer’s home in Park Manor, where a stunned-looking teenage boy shook his head no when the group of a dozen flanked by news cameras asked if the alderman was home.
The cardboard coffins were deposited at each home whether anyone came to the door or not, each filled with raisins as a reference to Langston Hughes’ poem “Harlem” ("What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up / like a raisin in the sun?") and fake money to represent the funding aldermen approved for a police department the protesters view as hostile to black communities.
It was only at Dowell’s home in Grand Boulevard that a curious neighbor came down to watch the group.
The neighbor declined to give his name, but said he doubted the protest would come to much until the protesters found a candidate to run for office that agreed with them.
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