The undersigned members of the Oak Park Village Board of Trustees condemn the acts of vandalism and property damage to the home of Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb on the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 25.
A rally organized by the youth group ROYAL and by Freedom to Thrive took place in Fox Park near Mayor Abu-Taleb’s house at 6 p.m. on the evening the village board was set to discuss policing issues.
In the midst of our meeting, protestors left the park and took the rally to the Mayor’s home, trespassed in his backyard, threw eggs at his house and extensively damaged his wife’s garden. They spray-painted graffiti on the public sidewalk and street.
These actions prevented the Mayor and police chief from participating in the meeting which resulted in the meeting being adjourned. As a result, the police-reform initiatives up for discussion and progress have been stalled.
These actions damaged more than Mayor Abu-Taleb’s property and his family’s sense of security.
They disrupted the democratic process.
They discredit the protestors’ cause.
They dissuade people from running for office.
They cost the taxpayers money in requiring a police response and a public works response.
We call on the young people who damaged the Mayor’s property to step forward and take responsibility for your actions. Political advocacy does not give you the right to commit crimes.
We call on the adult organizers of this rally to take responsibility for their role in these actions and condemn vandalism, property damage and violence in all its forms.
We further call on the adults to model peaceful protesting and productive methods for advocating for change when working with youth.
Trustee Deno Andrews
Trustee Simone Boutet
Trustee Susan Buchanan
Trustee Dan Moroney
Trustee Jim Taglia