Young men whooping it up around Mexican Independence Day crawled on a CTA bus, forcing the driver to stop for more than 15 minutes near 47th and Pulaski. --Supplied photo
Partiers trash Pulaski
Mexican Independence Day celebrations ‘out of hand’
By Tim Hadac
Crowds of Mexican Independence Day revelers trashed Pulaski Road last weekend, prompting a heavy police response and touching off a firestorm of debate within the Archer Heights neighborhood.
The worst of it appeared to occur on Friday night, as revelers—mostly young men—raced cars up and down the street and in nearby parking lots, until traffic became so clogged that Pulaski itself resembled a parking lot.
Revelers honked their vehicles’ horns and waved outsized Mexican flags. A number got out and walked up and down the street and adjacent sidewalks.
That spilled over into nearby sidestreets.
Chicago Police Zone 6 radio was crackling with officers on the scene describing the situation and requesting backups, which were brought in from two nearby districts to help Chicago Lawn (8th) District police. There were reports of lit fireworks being thrown into groups of people, shots fired from revelers’ guns, and beer bottles thrown at police.
Police SUVs were deployed along Pulaski to block further access to sidestreets, and revelers attempting to exit the Stevenson Expressway were turned away.
A limited amount of property damage was seen, like vandalized bus shelters—but the main concern was the large amount of trash thrown on the ground. Broken beer bottles, plastic cups, food wrappers and more were strewn about, mostly from 41st Street to 47th Street.
The following morning, workers from Archer Heights businesses were spotted cleaning up the debris.
“This is not what Mexican Independence Day is supposed to be about,” fumed Betty Delgado on social media. “I think of what I learned in school about the struggle for independence—the pain, the deprivation, the people who lost their lives. Then I see this? A bunch of party boys and party girls acting like idiots, like pigs? They dishonor the memory of those who sacrificed. This is out of hand.”
Sonia Cortes-Rodriguez added, “This is why [white people] don’t want to be around us, when we act this way. These loud, drunken slobs set us back as a people every time they do things like this.”
Others pointed out that irresponsible revelry is not unique to people of Mexican descent.
“Remember when the South Side Irish Parade was cancelled how many years ago?” asked Paul Novak. “It was a similar deal there: young men, many from outside the Beverly area, were coming in every March to party and trash the community along Western Avenue. The neighbors got fed up with it: the garbage, the vomiting, the public urination.
“I also recall years ago on Archer, young men racing their cars up and down Archer to use Polish Constitution Day as an excuse to act like savages,” he continued. “One year, they struck and killed a woman crossing the street.”
Others scolded those criticizing the partiers, labeling them Karens (a bigoted term used against white people who complain about the actions of their neighbors, perhaps especially neighbors who are people of color).
“Oh stop it, everyone,” said Jose Gallardo. “It’s one day a year. Get over it, Karen. Get back under your covers and go to sleep. I don’t hear y’all complaining when the same thing happens on the Fourth of July.”
Vols get busy in the aftermath
Seeing the litter and the reaction on social media, the non-profit Envision Community Services sprang into action in the days after the celebrations—organizing small crews of volunteers, led by community advocates Agustin Arroyo and Eddie Guillen and armed with brooms, shovels and trash bags.
What they did supplemented work already being done by employees from Pete’s Fresh Market, ALDI and other businesses in the corridor.
In fact some of the businesses—most notably Dunkin’ Donuts and Angelo’s Stuffed Pizza—went out of their way to provide food and beverages for the Envision volunteers.
The good deed did not go unnoticed, as a number of people took to social media to praise the effort.
“I think what this shows is there are good people in and around Archer Heights who care—who see what was done and responded with positive action to put things right,” one person wrote.
Last Saturday, Envision hosted a Mexican Independence Day celebration at the St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish Center, 63rd and Knox. A family-friendly event, it featured music, singing, dancing, food, beverages, Mexican art and more.
Girls Soccer: De La Salle tops Bremen for program’s first regional title
By Steve Millar Correspondent De La Salle coach Carlos Nunez has seen his teams come up a bit short in the postseason repeatedly over the years. The Meteors had never won a regional championship in girls soccer. Until this year, that is. “I’ve been in every single one that we’ve lost in,” Nunez said. “We’ve…
Pro soccer report: Pugh tallies twice return in Red Stars’ win over Orlando
By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Mallory Pugh gave a sample of what could be a big 2022 season when she scored four goals in the exhibition Challenge Cup series. But the Red Stars scoring threat missed the first two games of the NWSL season with an injury, and the team split decisions against Louisville and…
New ward map OKed
Reflects Madigan’s power By Tim Hadac The City Council this week approved a new ward map that, among other things, will see all of Clearing and most of Garfield Ridge shifted to the 13th Ward. Midway International Airport also would shift from the 23rd Ward to the 13th. Monday’s 43-7 vote means the issue will…
Area Sports Roundup: Sandburg takes 2nd at Bajenski tourney
By Jeff Vorva Staff writer The Sandburg baseball team has had more downs than ups this season. But the Eagles finished the regular season on a strong note with a run to second place at the Steven M. Bajenski Memorial Tournament, which wrapped up May 21 at Ozinga Field in Crestwood. To get to the…
Track Postseason Report: Sandburg boys 3200 relay records nation’s third-best time in 2022
By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer How good was the competition in the boys track Class 3A Lockport Sectional in the 3200 meter relay? Sandburg’s relay team of Brock Rice, Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Sean Marquardt ran a time of 7:42.42, which tied for the third-best time in the nation in 2022. And that was…
Summer weather means ice cream
By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 And just like that, it’s summer in Chicago! At least for the week of May 9. That means ice cream for our family. We started with black walnut during that hot week. The old-fashioned flavors are the…
Seeking answer to loose dog dilemma
By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Happy May 20, dear readers. Today is National Rescue Dog Day. We are to recognize all the benefits of rescuing a dog and allowing it to adopt you into their lovable life. There are certainly a lot of dogs in our neighborhood that need rescuing. Every…
Getting kids off their computers
By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 In case you were wondering, the gas company project over here on Francisco is moving along. I must say the contractors seem to be wasting no time and have been as respectful as possible. But alas, it is…
Cubs Charities hits a homer for Gage Park
By Joan Hadac Greater Southwest News-Herald Columnist at Large Greetings, Gage Parkers! I’m pleased to be pinch hitting again, as the search continues for the next columnist for this neighborhood. It’s fun for me to report on Gage Park, the neighborhood where I lived for the first 26 years of my life. There’s always something…
‘You knew this would happen’
Neighbors angry, but not surprised by shooting By Tim Hadac What a number of Southwest Siders living along the Pulaski corridor have been warning about appears to have occurred. A 22-year-old man was shot in the abdomen and buttocks as he stood with a group of people in a parking lot at 7050…
ANALYSIS: Illinois’ official U.S. census numbers have not changed
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker said Tuesday that he is asking President Joe Biden and the federal government to increase Illinois’ share of federal funding to reflect the results of a recent Census Bureau study showing the state was very likely undercounted in the 2020 census. The news…
GOP debate: Candidates address rising crime, Texas school shooting
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The six Republican candidates for Illinois governor faced off Tuesday night in Chicago, albeit on two separate debate stages, hours after a shooting at a Texas elementary school that dominated a large portion of the debates. A scheduling conflict between two TV networks – WGN and…
GOP Floor Leader Batinick ready to ‘pass the baton’
By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois House Republican Floor Leader Mark Batinick, a self-described “policy guy,” came to Springfield with the goal of pushing good policy. A father of five who resides in Plainfield with his wife, Batinick said after eight years in the General Assembly, it was either time to…
Longtime lawmaker reflects on time in General Assembly, calls it ‘honor of lifetime’
By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – House Majority Leader Greg Harris, the number two Democrat in the Illinois House of Representatives, never imagined landing the role of state representative – or that he would leave office feeling that he has been successful at it. The first openly LGTBQ leader in Illinois History,…
11th contempt citation filed against DCFS director
By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – On Thursday afternoon, a Cook County judge found Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Director Marc Smith in contempt of court for the 11th time for violating court orders to move children to proper placements. The 11-year-old girl at the center of the case has…
Criminal case against senior staff at state-run hospital dismissed
By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The official misconduct case against a Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center senior staff member was dismissed on Thursday. Union County State’s Attorney Tyler Tripp dropped the charges, related to a cover-up of abuse at the state-run facility, against Choate’s quality assurance manager Gary Goins. The…
ANALYSIS: Fuel retailers sue over ‘compelled speech’ at the gas pump
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] “As of July 1, 2022, the State of Illinois has suspended the inflation adjustment to the motor fuel tax through December 31, 2022. The price on this pump should reflect the suspension of the tax increase.” Those two sentences may be coming to a gas pump near you…
CAPITOL RECAP: Survey: Illinois undercounted in 2020 census
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – The Census Bureau released new survey data Thursday, May 19, suggesting the population of Illinois may have been undercounted by nearly 2 percent in the 2020 headcount. That was one of the findings of the Census Bureau’s Post-Enumeration Survey, or PES, something the bureau does after each decennial census…
Census Bureau: Illinois may have been undercounted in 2020 census
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Census Bureau released new survey data Thursday suggesting the population of Illinois may have been undercounted by nearly 2 percent in the 2020 headcount. That was one of the findings of the Census Bureau’s Post-Enumeration Survey, or PES, something the bureau does after each decennial…
Illinois rejoins federal Title X family planning program
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois has resumed participation in the federal Title X family planning program after refusing to take part for the past three years in protest over a Trump administration policy regarding abortion services. Gov. JB Pritzker announced this week that the state has been awarded $5.4 million…