A dozen protestors are engaged in a hunger strike in Chicago, on behalf of a proposal to reconstitute a closed neighborhood high school. The hunger strike is now in its fourth day. The Walter Dyett high school is the only four-year high school in the Bronzeville section of Chicago. The group is led by Jitu Brown, a civil rights leader in Chicago who heads the Journey to Justice Alliance, which has helped to organize grassroots community action in other cities. In a city where the leadership has promoted choice, the one choice it seems unwilling to recognize is the choice of the local residents. “Choice” is honored, apparently, only when it is imposed by entrepreneurs, charter chains, and politicians.

The Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School, which created the plan to re-open Dyett as a global leadership and green technology school, spearheaded the hunger strike. The 12 hunger strikers, including community and faith leaders, education activists and public school parents, held their protest outside the now-closed school, located in the Washington Park neighborhood at 555 E. 51st St.

“We are tired of our voices not being heard,” said hunger striker Jitu Brown with the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, one of many groups behind the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School. “There has to be accountability to the public for the destabilizing of schools in our community and the sabotage of our children’s education.”

Brown said the hunger strikers will only drink water and “light liquids” and are prepared to remain outside Dyett “as long as the creator allows us to be out here.”

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and Chicago Teachers Union leader Karen Lewis have endorsed the Dyett protestors.

Show your support with the Twitter Hashtag: #fightfordyett