Sunday, February 26, 2017

Pride Parade Gets A New Name, But Few Other Changes

Chicago’s Gay & Lesbian Pride Parade is changing its name for 2017, but no other significant changes are planned, according to permit applications that have been distributed to the Chicago Fire Department and the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

The re-named “LGBTQ Pride Parade” will step off from Montrose and Broadway at noon on Sunday, June 25, according to the records that were provided to CWB Chicago.

For the second year in a row, parade organizer Richard Pfeiffer’s permit request says the march will be capped at 150 units, that’s down from 250 units in 2011 and 200 in more recent parades.

Pfeiffer’s “Gay Parade Organization” last year cut the event's size under pressure from the city and residents who have grown concerned about unruly crowds, property damage, and widespread post-parade street crime that has plagued the neighborhood for years.

Sources: City of Chicago and
Concerns about safety led local aldermen to form a top secret "advisory committee" whose members are not publicly identified and whose work is not available for public review.

According to city records and the parade’s official website, the formerly-named Chicago Pride Parade has exceeded its permitted unit count every year since 2011—including last year. The city claimed to not have permits from earlier years.

Cops quell a street disturbance after the 2016 Pride Parade
Before last year, the only other time that parade organizers slashed the number of units was for the 2012 parade. That came on the heels of dangerous overcrowding along the parade route that sent spectators climbing over fences and barricades to avoid being crushed.

As in all previous parade applications, Pfeiffer continues to estimate that the parade will last 2 hours, 15 minutes. With few exceptions, that's the maximum time allowed under city ordinance.

In reality, the parade lasted nearly five hours in 2015 and about three hours in 2014 and 2013. Last year’s parade was noticeably shorter than other recent parades but still ran over its permitted time.

Take Out The Feds

Police arrested “only” 24 people in connection with the 2016 parade and its aftermath. That was down sharply from 52 arrests in 2015, and 46  arrests in both 2014 and 2013.

But police sources were slow to credit the shortened parade for last year’s improved performance.

Last year’s parade was held just two weeks after a terrorist killed 49 people at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

With Pulse fresh in people’s minds, the Chicago parade was protected by a sea of FBI, Illinois State Police, and Cook County Sheriff’s Officers that had never before been assigned to the event.

The Chicago Police Department added 200 more officers to its already-massive parade force, and the CPD deployed both of its helicopter units for the first time in the parade’s history. Only one copter had been used in the past.

Despite all of the reinforcements, victims of last year's parade violence included the 19th District's police commander and a man who was left with "part of his skull missing" after being battered while giving out free hugs.
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  1. So they're getting back to their roots?

  2. Gay Pride Parade, aka LGBTQ Pride Parade, aka Leave Town For A Day Parade.

  3. This Dick Pfeiffer guy ... who is he? Does he profit personally from the parade each year? Why are no financial figures ever published on what the parade costs, what it takes in, how/when/if city services are paid ... a whole host of questions here and nobody I've ever spoken to (low to mid level in the city hierarchy) knows anything about the parade funds. Why was the parade supposed to be shorter (fewer units) yet still lasted forever last year? Does Pfeiffer do as he pleases anyway with the parade? WHO IS THIS GUY????

  4. When is this one sided spectacle gonna be buried, and put out of its misery? Really embarrassing, and not representative of either the "L", "G", "B", "T" or "Q" communities. Furthermore, why are these folks grouped in the same acronym? They have very little, if anything, in common.

    1. Agreed. I've always said "I'm just gay, not a freak". Then you've got all those different subcultures within the "G" itself that hate each other and I just threw in the towel on being associated with any if it. Life was so much better under "Don't Ask Don't Tell". Lesbians absolutely HATE males of any sexual orientation anyway and should be their own separate entity too.

  5. The new incoming DOJ force needs to study video and audio tape from the last 10 years of this parade and take back command of a city going down the road to the brink of doom. The ambulance response calls must add up to 3 thousand over the years. What a waste of money.

  6. So...basically ignore your permit during the actual event without ANY consequences. Get taxpayers to foot the bill for your 'security' and cleanup. All the while giving the big F.U. to the neighbors. Great!
    A fantastic business model in the parallel universe of Chicago.

  7. At this point, the parade has lost its meaning and now it's just a big draw for public binge drinking and acting lewd and wearing kinky clothes for a day (or several, depending where one wakes up the day after.

  8. I can't wait to read the attendance numbers. Will it be 3 million this year. Always exaggerated.

  9. @4:21 PM - Dick Pfeiffer was a gay activist from the early days and was the lead organizer for the first parade in 1970, which was largely overlooked by everyone out of fear and consisted of only a handful of people. In the 1970's, the parade line-up started in the 600 block of Belmont avenue and continued down Broadway to Diversey, then down Clark to Fullerton and, I believe, turned east over to the park. Bus traffic was not re-routed and cars were allowed to travel and park like normal. Many more people eventually participated, but you had to look over your shoulder for flying eggs and fists. You are right. I've never heard of any financial statement that was ever published regarding this event. Who knows if he profits from it.

    @3:27 AM - You have not lived until you receive a prostate exam from a Lesbian
    MD. Total ice water in her veins. Insulting to boot. A real "Nurse Rachet".

  10. Rahm needs this to pander more to the community tgat votes for him while their property values decrease and their community gets more unsafe. Rahm has allowed the garbage in tgat has destroyed your community.

  11. This has been going on too long. The aftermath is pissed out side walks, vomit, trash everywhere. It gets crazier and wilder every year, and attracts thugs from all over to rob and beat the locals. Time to shut this hot mess down, it is just a freak show that represents no one but crazies and is a public very expensive embarrassment.