Friday, June 28, 2013

STREET WISE: Our Suggestions For Pride Weekend

Do not expect the police department to be making any special efforts to secure the neighborhood leading up to and following Sunday's Gay Pride Parade. 

The 19th district CAPS sergeant said that the department's big push for Sunday will be to "curb the drinking around the parade with a big emphasis on the quality of life, primarily.”

If you're wondering why his primary focus is to curb drinking when drunks aren't the ones stabbing people, remember that he is the same guy who earlier this month said his plan to control crowds after a potential Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory would be "not [letting] people have parties in the middle of the street. Our plan is to keep people inside the establishments."

We know how that worked out.

Blackhawks fans absolutely not partying in the middle of Clark Street on Monday. Image: Chicago Tribune
And says the sergeant's CAPS sidekick, Officer Tom Walsh, actually suggested that "even with the revelry, most fans will likely follow police orders to move aside."

Saddam Hussein was a better strategist than these guys.

With that in mind, the CWB editors spoke with a couple of 19th district cops who have firm grips on reality to get their advice for Pride goers. Then, the editors tossed in a few ideas of our own.

Read 'em and weep.

At All Times
• Stay with the herd. Walk with at least one other person. If possible, tag along with other groups. Wrigleyville and Boystown thugs operate just like the cheetahs on Animal Planet. Do not be the slowest gazelle. 
• Carry as little cash as possible. If you can get by with your ID and one credit card, do it. Leave everything else behind.
• Avoid using your phone on the street. Look around before you take your phone out in public. Minimize the time your phone is exposed and stay alert when it is out. 
• Do not get drunk. Okay, fine, we'll meet you half way. Do not drink to the point that your level of intoxication is apparent in the way you act. Swervy, stumbly people may as well scream "mug me."
• Do not engage strangers on the street. Keep walking. Do not stop to give someone a cigarette, a light, or a dollar.
• If things start to get even a little sketch, jet!

Today and tomorrow after sunset (Friday and Saturday)
• Leave the area by midnight. Take a taxi.
• If you take the train, use the Addison L station. Do not use the Belmont station.
• Avoid walking through large groups that are blocking the sidewalk. Go as far around as possible. 
• Belmont Avenue is a NO GO ZONE between 11:00pm and 6:00am both nights. Stay at least a block away from it, no matter how many people are with you.
• Enjoy the parade. Leave the area by 8:30pm
• On Sunday, Belmont Avenue is a NO GO ZONE after 8:30pm. Stay at least a block away from it, no matter how many people are with you. 
• If you take the train, use the Addison L station. Do not use the Belmont station.