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9-Year-Old Takes On Mayor At School Closings Rally

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A 3rd grader from the South Side has become an Internet sensation, after delivering a rousing speech at a rally against school closings earlier this week.

WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports there have been more than 88,000 views on YouTube of 9-year old Asean Johnson speaking at the podium for nearly three minutes on Monday at a protest rally in Daley Plaza.

He might be pint-sized, but Asean had no problem standing up to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

“Rahm Emanuel thinks that we all are toys,” Asean said. “We are going to City Hall, we’re confronting Rahm Emanuel. We are not toys. We are not going, not without a fight.”

He was fighting to keep open Marcus Garvey Elementary School, which was one of the four schools given last minute reprieves on Wednesday when the Board of Education voted to close 49 other elementary schools.

Asean ended his speech by leading the raucous crowd in a chant: “Education is a right, that is why we have to fight.”

Afterward, some talked of him running for mayor in 2025, when he’s 21 years old.

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