Trauma protests gaining steam

By LINDSAY WELBERS
Staff Writer

Students and other South Siders marched Saturday from 60th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue to University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer’s home on campus to demand expanded access to trauma care in Hyde Park.

The march took place on the day the university opened operations at its $700 million hospital and research facility, the Center for Care and Discovery.

University of Chicago Medicine employees began moving patients into the new facility around 7 a.m.

Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY) worked with university administration to agree on a marching route that would allow protestors to voice their opposition to a lack of a trauma care facility on the South Side of Chicago while the university opened the new hospital.
“To be clear we are absolutely under no circumstances going to disturb patient care,” FLY spokesman Duff Morton said.

On Jan. 27 four protestors were arrested following an attempted sit-in at the new hospital. Morton said that day was picked for the protest, in part, because there were no patients whose medical care could be disturbed.

FLY protestors delivered more than 2,100 signatures on a petition demanding that the university extend the age of admittance for the Comer Children’s Hospital’s trauma center to 21. The petition also demanded that the university open a trauma care center for adults, doing both would save the lives of dozens of gunshot and accident victims every year.

“Students and faculty at the university have begun talking about the need for a trauma center after campus police broke up a peaceful demonstration at the hospital’s new $700 million Center for Care and Discovery and arrested an alumnus, two community youth and myself on January 27th,” the petition, by Toussaint Lousier, read, in part.

The four people arrested were charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Alex Goldenberg, Jacob Klippenstein and Toussaint Lousier were all charged with misdemeanor trespassing. Lousier was also charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest. Charges against Victoria Crider, a 17-year-old King College Prep student, have been dropped.

l.welbers@hpherald.com