Friday, August 5, 2011

Interesting Night...

Several readers sent in notices about a CeaseFire/O.N.E. Peace March that occurred around the neighborhood tonight.  It was the first we knew about it, and all we can say is "What kept you?"

This is a much quieter summer than the past few have been, but we've had to haul out the old "shots fired" headlines way too much.

We've heard mixed reviews about CeaseFire, but if they can end the shooting, they'll be worth every penny of the funding that Commissioner Bridget Gainer obtained to pay for their services way back in March.  It's outrageous for the streets of our community to sound like Beirut, and for residents to "get used" to hearing live gunfire on summer evenings.

But CeaseFire has a long road to travel.

A reader tell us that just after 1am, three shots were fired around 902 W Windsor, near Hazel.  Police found the car the offender fled in, at Belmont and Lake Shore Drive.

Luckily for whatever human was the target du jour, the gunman was the typical terrible shot and ended up taking out some car windows rather than another gangbanger.  As our reader says:  "Some people will have an unexpected expense tomorrow morning."

Good luck, CeaseFire. Hope you're up to the task at hand.

Update:  Sigh.  According to someone in the know, the victim and the suspect were in the same car at the time of the shooting, and domestic violence is suspected. The victim will not identify the shooter, so no charges can be filed.  The cell phone used to report the incident is non-working.  So officially, nothing happened, even though it did.  We hope the people who have to replace their car windows are relieved that, despite the bullet holes, "nothing happened."


  1. Will, I think Uptown realizes the war on drugs is why we have "gangsters" and shootings. We're not stupid. There is nothing other than legalizing drugs that can be done. Kick out the known gangsters, more will take their place, happily. We can be NIMBY about this, but that won't solve anything. We can not allow for any more low-income housing to be built in our ward; but we also have to make sure it is equally distributed throughout the city, so that there are not "problem" areas. Concentrated areas of low-income housing fails residents in more ways than just a concentration of gang members/crime. The cyclical nature of institutionalized racism is complicated and the problems it causes are very, very hard to solve.

  2. O.N.E. can be credited for concentrating as much low income housing in Uptown as Shiller would take. Wonder if they realize they are responsible for providing housing to some of these gang bangers? Nah.

  3. Why do both of you assume that "poor people" form the only market for drugs around here? HA! Poor people are the source of demand for street retail, but people from every walk of life purchase and use illegal drugs.

    My point here is that the drug war is profligate by the classist notion that drugs bought on the street, by people who spend time on the street, are worse than drugs bought under more dignified auspices. Drop that idea, and you drop a major impetus for the drug war.

    I have already written Tony Preckwinkle and James Cappleman applauding Preckwinkle for her courageous stance on the drug war in Chicago. I suggest you do too.

  4. The cyclical nature of institutionalized racism

    ... sigh.

    There are more issues at play than simply "institutionalized racism", Stef.

  5. I suggest you do too.

    I'd suggest that we prompt our law makers to change questionable laws rather than ignore the ones that they don't like.

    Bad precedent.

  6. Kudos to Preckwinkle, about time we stop wasting time on marijuana. Then again, unless you are black, you have about a 1% chance of being arrested for it. Hopefully they make the 'tickets' for weed thing a reality. It would free up alot of time and manpower to go after the real schedule I drugs like PCP and cocaine. Oh wait, those are schedule II drugs? (scratching my head) Ooookay. I guess heroin and marijuana are in a league of their own. SMH.

  7. Of course there are Yo. But you can not deny that institutionalized racism is very much a huge factor with the problems of low-income housing, minorities and drug dealings. Steaming from generations of concentrated poverty and sub-par education, our criminal justice system, and the media.

    Rob-I never said anything about drug "users" only being poor. The war on drugs targets low-income minority men. There are plenty of rich white people buying and using drugs, but the drug laws are not the same, for cocaine vs. crack for example. We don't have people in wealthy areas, or hell, even our trading floors calling 911 every time they see a white person buying or using cocaine. We don't have jails full of white professional men who got busted for selling, using or possession of cocaine. They don't have to carry guns, because they are not public enemy no. 1. Concentrated low-income housing exacerbates the problem, and how do you fight a war on drugs, when people clearly want them?

    Look, guns are the problem here, as I see it. I don't care if someone wants to do drugs, buy drugs,sell drugs. I don't get why the government cares, I don't think the police do either. I don't see why the dealers have to carry guns, and shot each other up, but there are more willing to step in and take their place. The money and the power are much better than working for minimum wage at some crap fast food place. I get that. But we can't think that the police are going to "solve" this, or kicking the dealers out won't bring new ones in, or deny institutionalized racism in any way. The problems are complex, and I think that an equal and just disbursement of low-income housing throughout the city would be a start.

  8. First, just wanted to mention I did go on the Cease-Fire march last night and it went well, I thought. In some ways -- and this reflects a real divide I note in participating with both the Positive Loitering and Cease Fire events -- the racial divide is evident here. Cease fire drew a more "black" than "white" group. P. L. draws a mostly white group (at least the few times I've gone).

    What I liked about the Cease Fire march was that we went back into the side streets behind Truman and walked to and through groups of young women and men who would, I suspect, be targets of gang recruitment. They seemed open and curious about our group.

    Again, as the rest of America is also discovering about itself, we are a mosaic in Uptown and not a melting pot. That said, how can we work together? The two words "diversity" and "unity" are words which exist in a tension. Whether that tension is creative or not depends on those holding it.

    I suppose it comes as little surprise that I'd agree with Stef's analysis. That said, we needn't go all the way one direction or the other. As yo has pointed out elsewhere, the trick is for all sides to try to hear some truth from those they disagree with, and from there build on what we can agree with. (Don't blame yo for my interpretation.)

  9. Stef, the problems are complex, so why not add some of those into your argument, as well?

    Everything you've stated all rests on racism. Where's the call for better political leaders (who are responsible for the education system - and for concentrating poverty ... wonder if they could/should be considered racist), better accountability, better parenting, better sense of sense, self-determination, better respect for their community ...?

    Without mention of those, the argument isn't complete and the pace towards some sort of solution is slowed down, considerably.

    For the record, I called 911 last week after I saw 3 white guys taking a leak under the Lawrence viaduct.

  10. (Don't blame yo for my interpretation.)

    No worries. I appreciate the nod.

    The only thing I would recommend in the way of revision is to remove the word "try".

  11. @Jon: The obvious answer, then, is for the organizers of Cease-Fire and the organizers of the Positive Loitering to reach out to each other, put aside past differences, and organize some join events...since the objectives of both are to eliminate violence and make our neighborhoods safe. You are a participant in both and a facilitator, Jon...I hope you made the suggestion.

  12. Jon Trott, dont you have your own blog? Have you not lived here for 20plus years.. is there a reason you are trying to completely dominate every single subject on here?

    I would think that, as you have your own blog, if folks were truly interested in what you have to say, they would follow that... my guess is they dont... so go clean up your craptraps on Wilson, get your school started, clean up the thugs that get into shelters and leave us alone like you have the last 20 years until your Succubus of an alderman, helen, and all her friends, got their butts kicked in the last election..... and let those of us that for YEARS have tried moving Uptown in to a positive direction , do so.. btw, are you giving up your tax status yet for JPUSA?

  13. @ Jon T.

    Bear 60640 has a good point eh?

  14. "the objectives of both are to eliminate violence"

    Is it really?

    @Bear60640, the idealist in me wants to agree with your statement. The skeptic in me, however, sees the government pay that O.N.E. and CeaseFire members enjoy to be a major incentive to assist in the perpetuation of the existing violence issues. As long as "a little" violence continues, their pay stream is supported by the public.

    Somewhere in the middle of my two opposing views is the truth.

    There are endless examples of good people doing good work for pay. On the other hand, there are also many examples...

    At least with "positive loitering" events, the participants are volunteering their time.

  15. Best solution is to get a bunch of good, hard working American marching with the police in our neighberhood proudly openly carrying their hand guns.

  16. We should march together but no guns (Ala Zzesty Marinara) are necessary.

    Bring a drum...or just is a positive thing, marching is fun and the more the merrier.

  17. @Zesty: I know exactly where you're coming from. I'm being optomistic--with a grain of salt included. The point I was making was this: if someone holds some sway in a sizeable chunk of the community, observes--and perhaps participates in--similar activism events with similar goals, and has the oomph to write about it here...then that someone best serves the community by doing all that s/he can to help those events and organizations dovetail with each other. Unless, of course, that person's motivations are less than honorable. 'Nuff said.

  18. Well yo, I'd say that better political leadership in our democracy comes from a more informed better educated populace. Which could maybe be traced back to the cyclical nature of institutionalized racism. Maybe.

    Have you read "How to Walk to School?" We can't leave our education system up to just the government. We, even the childless, have to be involved in our public schools. This is fundamental to our democracy.

    Yes, it is complex, and there is not enough space here to address all of those complexities.

  19. I have trouble with the meanderings of Jon T.

    'Yo', per usual, you are a lighthouse of reason! :)
    I love you!