Evanston, Ill. mayor asks Northwestern to hep pay for anti-cop riot damage caused by its students
Northwestern University students protested fo weeks in Evanston, Illinois.
The mayor of Evanston asked Northwestern University to cover police costs after protests turned violent.
The student group that led the protests told Campus Reform that the “very presence” of police officers merits violence against them, adding that “defacing property is not violence.”
The mayor of Evanston, Illinois, asked Northwestern University to cover police overtime costs after students led massive protests.
Roughly 150 protesters — including members of the Northwestern University group “NU Community Not Cops” — gathered in downtown Evanston the weekend before the 2020 election. The protests turned violent, resulting in dozens of property damage incidents and an injured police officer, the Chicago Tribune reported.
NU Community Not Cops advertised the Halloween night protest on social media, encouraging participants to wear all black and bring umbrellas. The online flyer bore images of two tombstones bearing the slogans “RIP EPD” and “RIP NUPD.”
what a better way to spend your halloween than agitating to get the scariest institution in the world (PIC) abolished. POP OUT. october 31 9:00 pm @ John Evans Alumni Center. All black. Bring an umbrella and a bike. we’re getting spooky👻🎃 pic.twitter.com/aGk23rZEjK
— #nucommunitynotcops (@copsoutofNU) October 30, 2020
In an October 31 public letter to Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro, Evanston Mayor Stephen Hagerty said that he woke up to learn that Northwestern students had “ratcheted up their generally peaceful protest” the previous night.
Hagerty stated that “our residents do not support protesters who are marching through the streets of Evanston at night throwing bricks, stones, or other objects at police officers, shooting fireworks in their direction, and intentionally damaging and defacing public property, all while hiding behind umbrellas and lasers aimed in the eyes of police officers.”
He warned Schapiro that Evanston police would arrest any protester who harms or threatens harm to police officers, as well as damages public property. Additionally, he noted that Northwestern students’ 30-day protest movement “is costing tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, in overtime,” and expressed a hope that Northwestern would help to cover the costs.
Hagerty also mentioned that such an extended protest is ironic for a city that is “the first in America to create a reparations fund.” In a protest earlier in October, Northwestern students utilized anti-Semitic slurs outside the home of Schapiro, who is Jewish.
NU Community Not Cops told Campus Reform that “defacing property is not violence.” Rather, “Black and Indigenous and queer and non-binary death is violence. Policing is violence.” Because “abolition… refers to your interpersonal relationships,” the group does not “police anyone” in terms of their behavior during protests.
In response to Campus Reform asking whether NU Community Not Cops has told its members to refrain from attacking police officers at demonstrations, the group said that they would “push back at your characterization of ‘attacking police officers’ because that is cop propaganda language.”
“How are we the ones attacking cops if they gassed and brutalized and arrested students? If their very presence is an attack?” they added.
Campus Reform reached out to Northwestern University and the city of Evanston but did not receive a response.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft