Amid furor over budget and program cuts, Chicago Teachers Union members and their allies staged a one-day strike on Friday filled with protests and rallies on the city streets.
The walkout meant classes were cancelled for over 300,000 students, the Chicago Tribune reported, and many teachers — embroiled in a contract battle — demonstrated in front of schools.
But while the intensity surrounding last week's "day of action" has tapered off, the conclusion of one incendiary speech has been surging on social media.
Page May, an activist and Black Lives Matter supporter, hollered into the microphone to a cheering audience about young people "winning" ideological battles in the streets.
"I am so in love with my friends and the young black people and allies who are showing up and pouring their blood, their sweat and their tears into the streets every day and shutting s**t down and winning!" she said. "I am inspired by my 13-year-old students who are half my age and already understand that #BlackLivesMatter is not a slogan, it is a demand."
Then May added a final message that got the crowd into even more of a frenzy: "F*** the police!" May hollered. "F*** the CPD! ... F*** the police, and everybody f*** with 'em!"
Here's video of May's words. While the clip's description indicates she's a teacher, May instead appears to be an activist. (Content warning: Rough language):
Following her speech, May's Twitter page lit up over her comments — and she replied:
Over 1000 white people calling me a monkey/cunt/animal/bitch who should be shot/lynched/fired/beaten but I'm the extremist neo-KKK?— Page May (@may20p) April 5, 2016
I'll say it again, for the people in the back: Fuck the police and everybody fuck wid em https://t.co/44j4bvVU7P— Page May (@may20p) April 1, 2016
May's speech was part of a rally at Chicago State University, where the Rev. Jesse Jackson and CTU President Karen Lewis were present — which May confirmed. And some Twitter users remarked about the speaker lineup:
Page said “Fuck the police.” in front of Jesse Jackson and Karen Lewis…and thousands. lol— Charles Preston (@BellicoseGarvey) April 2, 2016
May added that CTU actually wanted the microphone taken from her:
As for May's background, according to a black women's activist group she's part of — Assata's Daughters — May is "an organizer with We Charge Genocide. Throughout all of my work, I strive to challenge anti-blackness and develop a Black, queer, feminist politic. Unapologetically Femme. Unapologetically Nerdy."
TheBlaze on Tuesday reached out to the Chicago Teachers Union and to May for comment, but neither immediately responded.