Monday, June 08, 2015

PRIDE: Booze Checkpoints "More Optics Than Enforcement"

Alcohol was sold openly along the route last year
despite warnings of a booze crackdown.
As neighborhood politicians and business reps told a CAPS meeting about their plans to contain the 2015 Pride Parade’s impact on our neighborhood last Tuesday, they insisted that a crackdown on public drinking would be a top priority.

A big part of the effort to reduce drunken behavior along the route, the CAPS audience was told, would be the establishment of checkpoints, presumably to ensure that booze is not brought to the party.

But enforcement is apparently not the intention.

According to Northalsted Business Alliance Executive Director Christopher Barrett Politan, the checkpoints are intended to be “more of an optics issue than an enforcement issue.”

Sooooo, the checkpoints are showbiz to make it look like something is being done to rein in the parade?

It makes perfect sense. Just as crime is all public “perception,” we can already see the headlines being written for the day after this year’s Pride Parade.

Everything was great! Much better! Look at all of these photos of people having their bags checked! Great optics!

So, here’s how “improving” the 2015 parade has come to be:
• Despite public assurances by politicians that the parade might be moved this year, the 2015 parade permit—identical to the 2014 application—was filed more than six months ago.
• The local alderman collected an unnamed group of “stakeholders” to craft supposed improvements behind closed doors. 
• “Stakeholders” will also determine if things are better this year.
• There has been no public explanation of how the success of this year’s parade will be measured. If the checkpoints are merely for “optics,” we’re guessing the changes have already been declared a success. 

16 comments:

  1. I'm sure the 90 extra off duty officers will be helpful

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    1. RE 90 Officers and optics:
      Can we ask
      - How many officer / hours will be worked on-site...as in 'at the event'... by fully licensed police officers.
      Just to be clear 'fully licensed law enforcement officers' do NOT include traffic aides, traffic enforcement officers, parking enforcement officers or traffic services (tow truck drivers).
      - Also during the day, how are those officer / hours distributed?

      Just a guess on my part....you'd be surprised. Sort of.

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  2. The bankers called the bars need to pay their loans down.

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  3. Hey Rahm, you could solve the city pension plan in one day if cops actually started writing those $1000 tickets along the parade route.

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  4. I am guessing the stop points are to keep outside liquor out, so the merchants can sell more inside. Not a public softy issue, just good old $$$$$.

    Do they charge an entrance fee? If any readers are going remember they can't force you to pay these. Why line the pockets of the organizers with more $?

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  5. Since when has it been decided that drinking at the parade is wrong? It's always been tolerated and only recently has become a problem. I don't know who is behind this blog, but the tone of it doesn't seem to be in line with what anyone in the gay community thinks. This blog itself always talks about the problems being post-parade, long after any parade route drinking would be in play. Alcohol is sold by merchants along the route (see your photo), so if it is being sold outside people assume drinking is allowed as part of a special event. The behavior of the crowd may be very different these days, but the behavior of the police is different too. Having the police trying to bust people along the parade route for something that is not clearly against the rules is not something we need, especially if it is done randomly to a fraction of the people who are drinking. Don't try so hard for the parade to become an event where regular people who are not criminals are being harassed, ticketed or arrested by the police.

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    1. We have repeatedly said that the two primary challenges for the parade are (1) dangerous overcrowding along the Boystown stretch of the route and (2) post-parade crime.

      However, when the parade organizers, local aldermen, police, and business organizations make big announcements about an alcohol crackdown, but then turn around and say one of their tactics is mostly "optics," that's worth reporting.

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    2. If you've ever been to pride events in other cities, you'd know that Chicago has a BIG problem. You don't see the kinds of hostility, crime, and gangbanger activity during gay pride parades in other cities like you do in Chicago.

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    3. May I ask you who you are that you presume to represent the whole gay community. Well honey, you don't. This is one local gay resident that not only would like public drinking restricted, but wants the whole damn parade moved downtown. As for the problems being only after the parade ended, may I remind you about the video of dancers on the police cars in the last two or three years as a small example of the shit going on during the parade. Except for the years I lived on SF, I've attended most of the parades going back to the early 70's. Then they were fun and there was an element of pride. Sadly, what I have seen in the last few years does not leave me with that same feeling.

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    4. "doesn't seem to be in line with what anyone in the gay community thinks"????? I am an "anyone" in the gay community and I support the efforts of CWB. I also believe that there is far too much drinking going on. The "Pride" Parade no longer has anything to do with "Pride." It is all about bar owners making a buck by getting as many straight suburban jagoffs as drunk as possible and then laughing all the way to the bank while the rest of us try to clean up the mess..

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  6. Sounds like a young angry bar manager or old cranky bar owner that assume they represent us in the gay community. As gay resident I want the parade moved it's nothing but a shit show today.

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  7. Take a step back and think about how much thought, anxiety, discussion, etc. the parade now engenders. Is there anything positive about the parade at this point? Does anyone who lives here actually look forward to it? It's clearly long past its expiration date.

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  8. I used to see so many people I know at the parade. I skipped a couple years, then went the last two years, and aside from the friends I went to the parade with, I ran into TWO acquaintances. TWO. Most of us who remember the parade from the beginning have stopped going. It's a suburban / Indiana drunken bar brawl shit show now. The only thing missing are Texan bikers shooting at each other. Pull the plug on the parade and keep Pridefest with a $20 admission IN GRANT PARK. And get some god damned decent musical acts.

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  9. Halsted is going down in flames. This will be high crime summer.

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    Replies
    1. Um, it already is.

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    2. I do believe this will be the Summer that the bar owners actually step up and come out of the closet to make a public announcement regarding the violent crime they've blown off for the past 9 years. But they'll be a day late and a $ short.

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