The Chicago Riots, Day One

Content warning: elements photographed for my story below contain profanity and crudeness.

This post has been thoughtfully revised for factual correctness as subsequent investigations confirmed new details.

2020 will be remembered as a dark chapter in American history. Never in many of our lifetimes have we seen lawlessness become so rampant, both with police breaking the law and a host of hurting people, anarchists, and opportunists using such grievous lawlessness as an excuse to commit crimes en masse.

Today I saw democracy morph into anarchy. I saw protesting morph into violence.

As I write I can still hear sirens, honking, fireworks, and intermittent yelling outside my apartment. The tone is tense. It is rumored that the Walgreens and CVS just down the street have been looted. I’ll find out tomorrow morning if my wife’s car survived the rampant vandalism.

Update: it did, thank God! Many people in a much poorer economic state did not have their cars and businesses survive the onslaught, sadly.

This is my photo and video story of what I observed while strolling from the Gold Coast to the Magnificent Mile.

Gold Coast

DOT trucks blocking traffic for both directions of Lakeshore Drive at Division St
Graffiti in Gold Coast long before the main body of protestors would arrive there
Joe and the Juice vandalized
Policemen in protective gear walking towards The Drake to their next assignment

The Magnificent Mile

Stores being boarded up along the Magnificent Mile
Graffiti. “1312” is an anti-police message.
More anti-police messages
The downtown protestors split into two groups, one that stays near the raised bridge and one that starts walking towards me at Michigan and Ontario
Drone capturing the event above us, and the speck to the lower right of the drone is a chopper also capturing the event

At about this point, the body of protestors is pretty much behind me now. That body mostly comprised of peaceful protestors expressing their beliefs. One of them even gave a homeless man his water bottle.

The more aggressive participants from within the crowd begin to loiter, harassing the police and commencing the looting shortly after they leave.

Foul gestures as police leave to keep with the main group; moments later many of the lingering rioters will plunder this AT&T store
The group of ambulances lined up along one side begin to leave
Anti-police and anti-Facebook messages scrawled on a news van with the passenger window punched out
Trump Tower standing defiantly – still one of the most sleek and modern-looking buildings in Chicago
Police SUV scratched and with the message “they don’t care about us” painted in green graffiti
A firefighter approaches the huddle while cautiously watching the loiterers
Things were crazier on the other side of the raised bridge, according to eyewitness testimonies
“Eat the Rich” and anti-police graffiti on a bank
To the left is a crowd verbally harassing a group of police. Slightly to the right of the light pole is a communist symbol found among the graffiti on the wall.
News chopper meekly peeking from behind a building
Police fixing a tire that rioters damaged
Verbally abusive man riding a tall bike; the business on the right includes the graffiti “an eye for an eye”.

This is around the time the looting began, which I captured while heading for home.

I took my leave, dumbstruck by what I just encountered and impressed by the professional restraint our law enforcement workers had while receiving so much abuse.

They’re people too.

Nonviolent No More

May 1, 2020. Trees in Rogers Park, Chicago are heralding the imminent arrival of summer with the white and green of maturing buds and tiny leaves.

Protestors rally today yet again at one of several housing facilities for immigrant children operated by Heartland Alliance. These protests, founded on the premise of the lie that Heartland’s facilities are “jails”, happen with enough frequency that some of the employees of Heartland have grown accustomed to it. On this day, however, the protesting takes a startling turn.

Fireworks, colored smoke, people climbing fences, police officers, flying paper, graffiti.

Within moments an unassuming home in the midst of Chicago’s north side is smothered with spray paint, smoke, and forceful virtue signalers.

This is no longer a peaceful march. This is vandalism and violence against the place that immigrant children had called home.

With triumph reminiscent of an epic prank being performed by a popular college fraternity, an individual appears on the rooftop and drapes a canvas over the top of the house with the words “CLOSE THE JAILS OPEN THE HOUSES!”

Cue more fireworks.

The rooftop trespasser poses, in hopes of this being an iconic moment, on a house for immigrant youth as the protestors demand in unison for houses for immigrant youth.

As if this isn’t anticlimactic enough, footage emerges of a child being endangered at the event.

Behind the Smoke of Violence

“Join us 4 some troublemaking and fun”

It would appear the Little Village Solidarity Network group may be a primary group behind the organizing of the violent event, as per the video that has been distributed in multiple accounts, including local activist Aldo Reyes’ Instagram:

However, a look at the Facebook event revealed that this event was considered a group effort:

None of these groups have condemned the violence or dissociated from this event after the fact. Some of these groups (especially the Little Village Solidarity Network) were praising the violence.

Research into several of these groups uncovers a recurring thread of Anarchist philosophies promoted by some of its members if not by the organization itself.

Here is a screenshot from one of the protestors’ Instagram:

For the history buffs, this tune sounds familiar.

History Repeating Itself

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana

Literally a century ago people were doing things like this, albeit with deadlier results:

Not all Anarchists are violent, mind you (in fact, the Wikipedia article linked above references how some Anarchists pushed for pacifism), but the concept of violent Anarchism appears to be rebirthing in the United States, as can be seen by the repeated violent behaviors of Antifa and the behaviors of grassroots organizations that allegedly have no hierarchy.

Free Scare Heartland Kids!

Did these protests help free the allegedly jailed children? No. Did they open houses? No, they vandalized a house. Did the children, who these organizations claim to love, experience distress from other protests like this one? Yes!

To even the casual observer, these acts of violence and agitation are counter-productive. These activist groups are demonstrating how blind and ignorant the modern strain of anarchy is making the far left. It’s no longer about truth but rather about feeling good about one’s self for following through with a false tale of saving the good people from the evil greedy bad people. A generation from now this will be all but forgotten.

And then it will happen again.