Nine community activists who tried to save La Casita at Whittier Elementary School from the wrecking ball in August were found not guilty Friday on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass to state-supported land.
Casita, a fieldhouse located next to the school in Pilsen, served as a
volunteer-run community center owned by the Chicago Public Schools,
which gave no notice to parents before having it demolished in August.
The nine protestors spent the night outside the fieldhouse after demolition
crews showed up. They were later arrested after attempting to stop the
building from being leveled.
Cook County Associate Judge
Clarence Burch ruled on Friday that the prosecutor in the case was not
able to show that La Casita was state-supported land, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
verdict is a real victory for people who want to stand up for the
rights of children,” Chicago Teachers Union
organizer Norine Gutekanst, a former Whittier teacher, told the newspaper.