Photo of the former Assata's Daughters headquarters after the city "seized" and "bulldozed" the building following two fire-related incidents in June | photo by Morgan Elise Johnson [The TRiiBE]

A community of young organizers in Chicago are devastated after reports that the city seized and bulldozed Assata’s Daughters headquarters on Tuesday following two fires last month.

The nonprofit activist group took to social media on Wednesday to express their anger and grief over the loss of their office, located in the 200 block of E. 58th Street in Washington Park.

On Thursday, The TRiiBE reached out to Assata’s Daughters co-founder, Page May. She was not immediately available for comment.

According to Chicago Police, two fire-related incidents occurred at the Assata’s Daughters headquarters in June. The first happened on June 15 at approximately 11:52 PM.

“It appeared the fire began in the ceiling. The building was abandoned and no injuries were reported,” police spokeswoman Jessica Rocco wrote in an email. 

The June 15 fire was ruled accidental due to electrical wiring, Rocco said.

A photo of Assata's Daughters headquarters after the fire | Courtesy of Assata's Daughters

The second fire occurred on June 25 at approximately 4:56 AM. According to Rocco, a male witness flagged down officers who were patrolling the area because he smelled smoke coming from the back of the building.

“No injuries were reported,” Rocco said about the June 25 fire. “Fire is still under investigation.”

A member of Assata’s Daughters posted photos of the damages after the fire and photos of the location after Tuesday’s demolition. 

“We want you to know that someone tried to burn down our building,” a statement reads on Assata’s Daughters Facebook page. “We want you to know that the city seized the property and bulldozed it this week. We want you to know that our HomeQuarters is gone.”

Assata’s Daughters was formed in 2015 as a collective dedicated to radical liberatory activism in the tradition of Assata Shakur, who was a member of the Black Liberation Army and a relative of rapper Tupac Shakur. The organization, which is led by Black women and operates through a Black queer feminist lens, focuses on political education, organizing and revolutionary services.

Christopher Brown, a local photographer who goes by the alias ThoughtPoet, is hurt by the news. He’s friends with Assata’s Daughters founder, and has worked with the organization in the past.

“Personally, I’m pissed because Assata’s Daughters does so much for the community already,” Brown says. “These are youth that are being displaced. These are young folks who need a home so they can continue doing and learning all of the things that they’ve been taking on.”

For Rachel Williams, a local South Side organizer, Assata’s Daughters stepped in to help her and her family cope with the death of her 11-year-old cousin, Takiya Holmes. In February 2017, Holmes was killed by a stray bullet while sitting in the car with her mother, aunt and three-year-old brother in the Parkway Gardens Complex, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Assata’s Daughters dedicated their headquarter’s garden to Holmes. Now that garden, and the building the group called home, are no more.

“Assata’s Daughters is family,” Williams says.

Assata’s Daughters is committed to staying and fighting displacement. And other Chicago organizers are hoping to lend a hand.

On Twitter, the nonprofit youth activism group GoodKids MadCity reached out to Assata’s Daughters to offer their space to them.

Assata’s Daughters is accepting donations to help rebuild. Visit the Assata’s Daughters website for more information.