Monday, December 19, 2011

CeaseFire Marches This Evening

We heard from CeaseFire today, who will be holding a candlelight vigil and march this evening.
  • "On Monday, December 19th @ 6pm, we will be doing a Candlelight Vigil in three areas in Uptown.   This Vigil will be in light of Edward Clark's murder and the other shootings in the area throughout the past weeks. We will be starting this Vigil @ Lawrence and Winthrop (6pm), then moving up Winthrop to Wilson and making our second stop at Clarendon Park (6:45pm) and ending at Sunnyside and Magnolia (7:15pm).  There will be 2 speakers at each stop, speaking adamantly and briefly about the violence in the area. Please do not let the weather or anything else prevent you from being there!"
  • CeaseFire is also having a clothing drive through Thursday, December 22nd at 3pm.  If you have shoes, coats, jeans, sweaters, T-shirts, hats or scarves to donate to local families, you may drop them off at CeaseFire's office at 4654 N Racine between 9am and 10pm.  Families will come to pick out clothing between 6 and 8pm on December 22nd.  If you'd like to make a donation and have it picked up, please call CeaseFire's office at 773.271.8133.


  1. Weren't these guys already defunded for funneling government money to gangs?

  2. A quick check of UU shows that CeaseFire/Uptown received funding last March, courtesy of Commissioner Bridget Gainer.

  3. Please do not let the weather or anything else prevent you from being there!

    ... anything else, as is almost no notice whatsoever, during a busy holiday week?

    Though, in fairness, I guess a few hours' notice is better than no notice whatsoever.

  4. I just got back from it, it was a beautiful event. I encourage everyone to curb their cynicism and realize that Ceasefire reps are only there because they genuinely care about reducing gang warfare.

    I didn't know much about the organization and gang culture, but I made a point to speak to many of them, and it became quite clear the passion that they have for the cause.

    What I respect the most about them is that they're doers, not just talkers.

  5. @ Lambert,

    So what are they doing? Please don't say "organizing marches"

  6. UptownAction, it's far more face-to-face with gangs than amorphous/sentimental marches. They actually interact with the gangs, build relationships with them, and try to steer them away from that life.

    They're former gangsters themselves, and therefore have the street cred to really talk to gangs, and to get through to them more effectively than the police (or the vast majority of us) can.

    What I found particularly interesting is how distinctly distant they are from police. They make a point of not turning in gangs, keeping conversations they have confidential, largely in the name of keeping gangs' trust.

    I don't know how reliable the statistics that tout the organization's effectiveness are, but I will say, their mission intuitively makes sense. And I think there's a lot to be said for the dueling tactics of them and the police, and how they both reach for the same goal, but by completely divergent methods.

    I'm going to see "The Interrupters" tomorrow, hopefully gain more insight. But what I've seen thus far is very encouraging, and I think we all ought to support them.

  7. Oh really? I'd like to know just WHO these ceasefire people in uptown have some type/ any type of relationship with? They might pull the wool over YOUR eyes but not others. WHO are they face to face with themselves? It WON'T WORK. Marches? Clothing drive? Yea right. I won't give them a stitch of anything I own. Before I do that? I'll walk around uptown and give away stuff myself. They are around until the BIG FAT FUNDING runs out. W/O any progress.

  8. I sooner march with the Guardian Angels and give them a donation as I seen all the things they done on crime. CeaseFire is a joke and put your money to better use.

  9. Why are you so cynical and pessimistic about Ceasefire? Serious question. Everybody complains about the violence, and here is a group, with an office IN UPTOWN, dedicated solely to ending gang violence. It absolutely baffles me how you're not supporting them, let alone castigating them as some of you are.

  10. After reading that article in Chicago Magazine about how the Chicago gangs are closely intertwined with some of the aldermen in their communities, I'm very skeptical about CeaseFire's motives. Also, the gang killings and shootings have been rampant this past year. So to me, CeaseFire receiving funding seems to have been a poor investment.

  11. Why are you so cynical and pessimistic about Ceasefire?

    .. because there has been an increase in shootings since CeaseFire showed up.

    Again - not saying that CeaseFrie isn't effective, but ... it is enough to make one wonder about their (publicly funded) effectiveness when the shootings increase.

    Granted, a LOT of things are out of their control, and proving a negative ain't easy .. but, ..., a march well over a week after the most recent shootings, and not in the area of those shootings .. that kind of PR will bring about certain questions ...

  12. I am not sure why most of you are not going to give them a chance and see what they can do. Instead you guys are being negative when they are trying to do something. I am keeping a open mind and hope they can help!

  13. Any anti-gang organization with a business model that includes coddling and protecting is a joke.

  14. yo, really? "not in the area of those shootings"??? do you read or just impusively type? the walk started at Larence and Winthrop, where on Dec 4, my dog and i walked past two large blood stains that were still on the sidewalk from a fatal shooting that happened 5 hours earlier.

    i have no knowledge of CeaseFire's motives or tactics, but i'm not gonna throw conspiracy theories around without facts. please read and research instead of starting rumors.

  15. It,s really crazy how so many u u readers are so quick to talk negatively about. Ceasefire and what they do or who they are, when I m sure that the majority of the readers haven,t participated In a single march and much less even attempted to meet the ceasefire staff, but it doesn't surprise me because it is so much easier to talk shit from a keyboard but won't make a stand with ceasefire to cease the violence that is upon us In our community. I was in the march last night and for once in a long time, I can seriously say that the vigil and the march were much needed and highly appreciated.and I felt as if I had a say so against the gang bangers.Being stop the violence.

  16. I think the objections to CeaseFire are based on the fact that they've been here since March and we just went through the most violent ten days I can remember in the 24 years I've lived here. Huffington Post says: "At least 12 people were shot - one fatally - in the North Side neighborhood since Oct. 31." It was even bad before then, with another gang-related death late this summer.

    So when an organization's sole mission is to stop the shooting, and the shooting gets worse, people are going to be scratching their heads as to that organization's effectiveness, whether or not it's justified.

    (Add that the organization is being paid in taxpayer dollars, and there's not a damn thing wrong with people asking questions.)

    I'm neutral on Ceasefire and think "The Interrupters" is a great public relations coup for it. However, the best public relations coup would be if there are no more shootouts on our retail corridors, and no more young men lying dead in our streets.

    CeaseFire is here - at least through the end of its contract, whenever that is - and I wish them success. I wish anyone success in stopping the gang wars, no matter who they are.

  17. Leoncita, I don't measure effectiveness by how nice or well-intentioned people are. I measure it by how well they get the job done that they are being paid to do. Can you say that CeaseFire has done a good job at stopping the violence and gangs in Uptown? Because that's exactly what you and I are paying them to do. BTW, you talk about people being bad if they don't go on marches... I'm disabled. I can't march. Does that make me a bad person? Think before you judge people on what they do or do not accomplish, and that includes CeaseFire.

  18. I like how a bunch of new commenters have appeared to support Ceasefire.

    Now either Ceasefire works or it doesn't.

    Cappleman might use the phrase "best practices".

    If it works great. If it doesn't.........not great.

    It seems to me that there are two ways to deal with the violence in the short term.

    1. Go Paul Kersey on the offenders. Fortunately, society frowns on vigilantes.

    2. The cops need to figure out which gang is stronger and then put their efforts into eliminating the weaker gang. Multiple gangs = violence.

    Ain't gonna happen. For obvious reasons.

    The answer is going to partly be a mid to long term effort to clean up the housing where the bangers live and hang out.

    It ain't sexy, like my gramer or spelin', but it would undoubtedly reduce the violence over time.

  19. Who said anything about conspiracies?

    I'm simply saying that for any/all of the good CeaseFire is doing, and wanting to do, they are failing at the most essential aspect of the game: communication.

    Failure to communicate the message is almost as bad as having no message, at all.

    For example - the most recent shootings were at Wilson/Sheridan ... did the march make its way over there? Why wasn't there a march/vigil conducted earlier - ie, strike while the iron is hot and garner more attention while the media is still interested?

    And, despite my thinking that marches aren't effective, I'd have been more than willing to support the overall cause by attending last night ... but, they didn't provide enough notice that such an event was scheduled.

    As for doing research - you're not the only one who has no or little knowledge of their motives/tactics - their website has no mention of the march, or what is being done in Uptown, specifically.

    It's one thing to do one's research. It's another thing for organizations (specifically publicly funded organizations) to provide the results for such research.

    CeaseFire's failure to communicate effecetively and comprehensively on the local level is the cause of the scrutiny and suspicion we're seeing.

  20. lambertgotjobbed said...
    I just got back from it, it was a beautiful event. I encourage everyone to curb their cynicism and realize that Ceasefire reps are only there because they genuinely care about reducing gang warfare...

    If this is true, why weren't they here BEFORE they started getting paid to be here?

    It's not like there were NO GANG ISSUES before the funding appeared.

    Don't get duped by words.

    Just sayin.

  21. Cone of Silence: Organizations need funding to exist, and the fact that they're getting paid doesn't invalidate their objective.

    Look, I don't have time to address every concern, nor do I have all the answers. Like you, I'm still trying to learn about them and their methods. And for what it's worth, I don't think there's anything wrong with healthy skepticism, so long as you keep an open mind about it.

    The problem that I have is that it seems a lot of people have already made up their minds that CeaseFire is pork-barrel material without knowing much about them.

    Yes, there's been a rash of gang violence recently, but it's narrow-minded to make a direct correlation between that and CeaseFire's ineffectiveness. By that logic, we should eradicate the NRDC simply because greenhouse gasses continue to pollute our air.

    CeaseFire has been met with great reaction on the south side, and I think it's reasonable to think that its outpost in Uptown will be similarly successful as this new branch matures.

    At the very least, make an effort to learn about them, to talk to them, and only afterward, formulate your opinions.

  22. Whether or not Ceasefire has a legit interest in eradicating violence (they probably do), how can anyone take their methods seriously...marches, earning gang's trust, keeping conversations confidential...I mean come on now. They might think it's fighting violence but it's enabling.

  23. Alek said...
    Whether or not Ceasefire has a legit interest in eradicating violence (they probably do, how can anyone take their methods seriously...marches, earning gang's trust, keeping conversations confidential...I mean come on now. They might think it's fighting violence but it's enabling.

    Sounds like trying to use some d├ętente to me. You know, like between the US and Soviet Russia back during the Cold War?

    All we are saying, is give CeaseFire a chance.

    Sorry, couldn't help that one.

  24. There's a lot of information about how CeaseFire works, including information from an independent federally funded evaluation, on CeaseFire's Web site,

    If you haven't seen The Interrupters, I highly recommend it. Yes, it's great publicity for CeaseFire, but it's also a pretty candid look at urban street violence and the work of the interrupters.

  25. Funny folks questioning Ceasefire effectiviness here in Uptown, but what is the CPD doing! What methods have they come up with_ceasefire uptown consist of 5 guys that walk these streets with hope in their hearts to change the violence in Uptown' how small minded so people are, they find negative about something that suppose to positive_I have been a resident of Uptown my whole 30yrs and I have 3 children growing up in these streets and I support the work Ceasefire is doing,I never see any police out trying to speak to the trouble youth, or any of these randoms Joe's that have so much to say! I have had the pleasure of attending many of their events and left feeling empower by these guys and the work that they do, there about trying save lives! the violence in Uptown would have occur rather Ceasefire was here or not!

  26. And futhermore the guys that work for ceasefire have been involved in community outreach prior to working for ceasefire, these guys have coach sm of the sports programs,they have mentors many of the youth, they have given their time for many years for FREE, maybe people should try to get inform!

  27. maybe people should try to get inform!

    That's the point. People would like to get informed/involved .. CeaseFire needs to step up, and help us do that.

    Again .. waiting until the very last minute to announce an event is simply not going to cut it.

    If they've got outreach experience, they should know this, already.

  28. Sorry u received the memo late! With less than a week to plan and promote I was impress by the amount of support the event receive, I stop and receive the information frm the kid tht was passing out flyers under the train' and manged to received another as I walked dwn sheridan_but wait how bout I called their office on my own and found out more details and signed up for the email list so I can stay inform,funny how I received and many others did the same, u want to be inform take the steps to get urself inform' FYI they also have a ceasefire Uptown FB page where they posted to nearly 300 ppl all last week_I think they did pretty well!

  29. I can't find the ceasefire fb page link. If anyone can, could you please share. I don't know anything about them. Would like to learn. But, frankly I think any help right now, is great. I understand tax payers are funding it, but at least it's someone dealing with it and working on it daily. Somethings better than nothing. We need everyone's help.

  30. They have a page as an individual - Ceasefire Uptown. You can search for the name and send them a friend request. If you can't find them, I tagged them in a comment I made on the UU Facebook page.

  31. As one of those who participated with Cease Fire Uptown in the vigil / walk, I put together a video (one of my first using iMovie, so the sound levels are goofed some). I hope Uptown is blessed with the presence of Cease Fire for some time to come. Gangs in Uptown have been a reality here since at least the 1960s. I trust we all realize the only approach that will work is to come at the problem from all sides. Every tool at hand has value. Anyway, the video, for what it is worth (again, sorry about the music too loud over the folks speaking -- I'm a noob with iMovie).

    Cease Fire - Walk/Prayer/Vigil

  32. Also, as it is government funded...does anyone know where you might find the audited budget of CeaseFire the last couple of years... as a taxpayer, who in turn, pays their bills, I sure would be interested...

  33. Great job you do weddings?

  34. I finally got around to seeing "The Interrupters" on Tuesday night. POWERFUL stuff. Cobe, one of the three violence interrupters the movie features, was on hand for a Q&A afterward, he's a great ambassador for their mission.

    Seeing the doc only solidified my admiration for CeaseFire, and I urge everyone to check it out. I believe PBS is airing it on Feb. 14 if you can't check it out in the theater or on DVD.

  35. Uptown Superhero: I don't know where one is readily available or published, but anyone can file a FOIA.

  36. Oh, isn't that fancy.. As I was passing Wilson and broadway I seen one of our ceasefire persons with a brand new nifty little jacket on that says, uptown. Ceasefire guess what he was doing ? Buying loose squares and talking to the local bums that hang on that corner. Isn't it a wonder what my tax money pays for. New winter jacket, loose squares ...

  37. @un-bias It sounds like this CeaseFire outreach worker was intentionally interacting with people on the corner, because that's what "outreach" means. And if you're suggesting that all public workers should be forbidden to buy cigarettes, you'll have a lot of people to scold besides a few folks trying to speak to members of the local community.

  38. Jeffrey.... I'll do *your* wedding... if you get 'round to getting married, that is... hehehehe....

  39. Thanks Jon, Ill keep your most generous offer in should have plenty O time to practice your skills with the new video-camera. It takes two to tango and a good woman hard 2 find dontcha knows.....

    Now when are ya gonna fix that craptaculousalicious cornice of yours?

    Har har dee harharhar!