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130 Chicago Kids Paint Mural in Northside Neighborhood Inspired By San Diego Artist/Illustrator Rafael Lopez at Addison & Blue Line. 130 Chicago Kids Paint Mural in Northside Neighborhood Inspired By San Diego Artist/Illustrator Rafael Lopez at Addison & Blue Line.(0)

By : Anna Zolkowski Sobor , Addison/Avondale Mural Executive Committee & Vice President, Old Irving Park Assn.

 

Chicago, Illinois—it all started when one young mother got tired of trudging through a dreary, pigeon-spotted viaduct on the way to her local park.  Joanie Friedman’s hope to paint a mural at Addison St. and the Kennedy Expressway resulted in a transformation, but not only of a blank wall.  It snowballed into a cross-country, cross-cultural and cross-community effort.

130 children age 5 and older are scheduled to finish painting the 100+ foot long Addison/Avondale mural this Thursday, June 21 beginning at 9 AM.  A ceremony thanking mural designer Rafael Lopez is planned for 3 PM at the mural site.  Friday, June 22 marks a community celebration, with a group photo at 5:45 PM, and then a parade to nearby Athletic Field Park led by funky marching band Environmental Encroachment.

The mural was gridded, traced and painted in one week after a year long local planning and fundraising process. San Diego, California based artist and illustrator Rafael Lopez was welcomed at a reception at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen on June 13, 2012. He’d offered his design and one week of time to paint a mural with both experienced volunteer artists and over one hundred children on Chicago’s Northwest side.  Irving Park resident Cesareo Moreno, chief curator of the Museum, volunteered to be the Addison mural’s project manager.

Located at the intersection of the Avondale and Irving Park community areas, the railroad underpass is at the crossroads of the CTA’s Blue Line subway, the Kennedy Expressway and Addison Street.  It serves as an entry point to Chicago for hundreds of thousands of Cubs fans, as well as being a major bus and pedestrian commuter hub.

Over 500 neighbors responded to emails, a stencil on the blank wall announcing a mural and a Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mural-at-Addison-Avondale/136491123111933).  They came together to organize and secure donations of time, materials, food and funds.  As a result, people who’d lived and worked in the area for years forged new friendships and alliances.  Both pedestrians and motorists have stopped to cheer on the work in progress.  The effort spilled over onto the adjoining vacant piece of land on Avondale Ave., which is being transformed into a community perennial garden.

The impact of a little paint on the wall resulted in another ripple effect.  Ineffective pigeon netting & years of pigeon waste were removed from above the viaduct’s southern sidewalk and new pigeon spikes installed thanks to Ald. Rey Colon’s (35) intercession.  Pedestrians now have a healthier and cleaner environment when walking to the bus, park or Blue Line.


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NATO occupies Chicago, Then OccupyChi occupies Chicago Back ( View Pics) NATO occupies Chicago, Then OccupyChi occupies Chicago Back ( View Pics)(0)

By : Breaking Voices Staff

After months of uncertainty, Chicago had its first day of NATO protests with many more to come by the end of the summit by Monday night. Since Chicago Mayor Emanuel announced it over nine months ago that Chicago would be the summit location, many have speculated what this would mean for Chicago socially, politically and financially. For many traveling to Chicago from all over the world, this is only the beginning of what is to be a generational moment.

Many within this generation have only seen clips of the dogs in Mississippi attacking protesters demanding an equal voice or the beatings by police in the 90’s that lead to the burning of Los Angeles. The protesters at Daley plaza seek to speak for those without a voice in places that NATO has occupied. This weekend is the time to exercise your right to assemble if you want to call attention to what needs to change around the world. The launch party for protest will begin on Sunday at Grant party at 11:30am.

Today’s protests were small in size, but demonstrated to the police that the foundations of a true movement are assembling. To give praise to Chicago police for their ability to observe as well as not interfere, it gives hope that the end of the NATO summit even will see the police as people in this moment.


As we took photos at the corner of Jackson & La Salle as the Occupy protesters carried signs stating ” we are the 99 %.” We realized that some bystanders didn’t realize why these people were protesting when we overheard them saying ” I’m never coming back to Chicago, is this what they do here on Fridays?” With the passion seen in the occupy activists, by this time Monday, they will know that this is where democracy stood its ground against oppression.

Currentbuzz.org Reports Curating Occupy Chicago Currentbuzz.org Reports Curating Occupy Chicago(0)

By: ChicagoTalks.org

You can use the popup panel to navigate through the stories by title. You can use the horizontal scroll box at the bottom of the timeline to move quickly from month to month, event to event. You can click on any of the colored dots to move to specific story. Stories may have video, audio, images, and links in addition to words. There are links to mobile blogs and there is one story done with storify that attempts to link Occupy protests outside Chicago to ours. We formally stopped updating this curation on Dec. 1, 2011. This is a collaborative reporting project. See our piece about this work in In Media Res | a mediaCommons project

 

 

President Obama: Bulls To The White House…….. I Believe So. President Obama: Bulls To The White House…….. I Believe So.(0)

It is great ( look at him smiling while talking about the bulls…. A True Fan even in Washington, DC) to see President Obama enjoying the amazing young players of the NBA as a fellow native ( BreakingVoices Headquarters is localed in downtown Chicago) of Chicago that now resides at  1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

After watching the videos below of  President Obama speaking about NBA updates related to the Bulls as well as the hope to one day invite the Bulls to the white house to congratulate them as NBA world champs, it became award to us at the office  just how much of a huge loyal Chicago Bulls fan our President continues to be even when he only gets a chance to watch ESPN in the morning while working out before getting to the issues of the world.

The videos posted above gave us joy here at BreakingVoices HQ, so we hope that all our Loyal BreakingVoices Chicago Edition fans / readers  enjoy the Podcast as well via The “BS Report” with Bill Simmons.

” I Occupy Zipcode ________ ” My List of Demands To My Alderman Are! ” I Occupy Zipcode ________ ” My List of Demands To My Alderman Are!(0)

By: OccupyChicago

Our PROPOSED Demands :

1.PASS HR 1489 REINSTATING GLASS-STEAGALL. – A depression era safeguard that separated the commercial lending and investment banking portions of banks. Its repeal in 1999 is considered the major cause of the global financial meltdown of 2008-2009.

2. REPEAL BUSH TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY

3. FULLY INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE THE WALL STREET CRIMINALS who clearly broke the law and helped cause the 2008 financial crisis.

4.OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED v. US. – A 2010 Supreme Court Decision which ruled that money is speech. Corporations, as legal persons, are now allowed to contribute unlimited amounts of money to campaigns in the exercise of free “speech.”

5. PASS THE BUFFET RULE ON FAIR TAXATION, CLOSE CORPORATE TAX LOOPHOLES, PROHIBIT HIDING FUNDS OFFSHORE.

6. GIVE THE SEC STRICTER REGULATORY POWER, STRENGTHEN THE CONSUMER PROTECTION BUREAU, AND PROVIDE ASSISTANCE FOR OWNERS OF FORECLOSED MORTGAGES WHO WERE VICTIMS OF PREDATORY LENDING.

7.TAKE STEPS TO LIMIT THE INFLUENCE OF LOBBYISTS AND ELIMINATE THE PRACTICE OF LOBBYISTS WRITING LEGISLATION.

8. ELIMINATE RIGHT OF FORMER GOVERNMENT REGULATORS TO WORK FOR CORPORATIONS OR INDUSTRIES THEY ONCE REGULATED.

9. ELIMINATE CORPORATE PERSONHOOD.

10. INSIST THE FEC STAND UP FOR THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN REGULATING PRIVATE USE OF PUBLIC AIRWAVES to help ensure that political candidates ARE GIVEN EQUAL TIME for free at reasonable intervals during campaign season.

11. REFORM CAMPAIGN FINANCE WITH THE PASSAGE OF THE FAIR ELECTIONS NOW ACT (S.750, H.R. 1404).

12. FORGIVE STUDENT DEBT – The same institutions that gave almost $2T in bailouts and then extended $16T of loans at little to no interest for banks can surely afford to forgive the $946B of student debt currently held. Not only does this favor the 99% over the 1%, it has the practical effect of more citizens spending money on actual goods, not paying down interest.

Promised List of Demands To Local Alderman Throughout Different Chicago Neighborhoods

About OccupyChicago

 

What the Tipsy Cake’s Apology Teaches About Racism In Chicago What the Tipsy Cake’s Apology Teaches About Racism In Chicago(0)

By: M ( BreakingVoices Guest Journalist)

Analysis

Naomi Levine, the owner of Tipsy Cake bakery recently stated that she moved her storefront to Bucktown from Humboldt Park because “There were just too many gunshots in the cake, so we decided to move…We did have some very upscale clients in Humboldt Park, but with Bucktown, nobody would be too scared.” She also had named one of her pastries the “Humboldt crack bar”.

There is no doubt that Naomi Levine’s comments betray latent racism about the ethnic divisions and crime in Chicago. Let’s be clear: we can all save our cookies because first and foremost she made comments that were racist. She jokes about crime in a community with a strong Puerto Rican cultural background (while Bucktown, the neighborhood she claims to be safer, is in the same scale of crime according to CPD’s clearmap). We can claim that this is just about a neighborhood, but Humboldt Park is predominantly a Puerto Rican neighborhood and to claim otherwise is to ignore the cultural centers, the icon of the neighborhood (the large Puerto Rican flag), and the clear racial make-up of its population. She also makes the distinction that they had some “upscale clients” in Humboldt Park. This distinction is made because it is supposed to be contrary to what we would believe. There’s no award for “least racist”, but what I’d like to take this as an opportunity for, however, is a guide for people with privilege, in particular white people and people with economic privilege, who have privileges granted to them by society that many people of color do not.

The relevant, but often missing, information is that crime is created by privilege- more accurately the lack of privilege. For people who lack privilege, class mobility is limited if not near impossible. So if you start out with little, you don’t to stay at “little” . In terms of Ms. Levine- a person joking about crack has probably never been in a position where selling or making drugs was one of their only options for money. This is the important context that made her comments racist: perception of danger is highly racialized not only by personal racism but also by the racism in the criminal justice system. This is information that a person with privilege should have, because for many people of color it is a lived reality. Ignorance is just another in the long list of white privileges and one that we can actively resist.

The other striking privilege-induced behavior demonstrated in these comments is individualist thinking. She showed complete lack of gratitude for a community that took in her store, despite that it could contribute to gentrification, and patronized her bakery. This is another sign of privilege, to see yourself as valuable and important enough to be the top priority. Our society tells people that if they succeed it is due to their merit and if they fail it is due to their lack of effort or intelligence. What is always left out is that we are not all born equal in the United States; with a 20,000 gap in median income between white and black people. 97% of people arrested in Chicago are not Caucasian and 31.7% of people living in Chicago are Caucasian. 75.6% of those arrests are African American people while African Americans account for less than 32.9% of the Chicago population (less than because there is no division between black Hispanic or Native people and African Americans in the Census data).(Arrest information from http://arrestjustice.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/arrests-by-race-sex-by-district-2010.pdf and demographic information from the 2010 U.S. Census)

(http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2010/09/median-income-by-race.html)

Let’s look at Levine’s apology statement and pull out some key points for the privileged among us.

She apologized: This seems simple but for many privileged people it isn’t. It is so much easier to use your privilege to simply dismiss the allegations- “I didn’t mean it to be racist so it isn’t”, “I was just referring to crime, I never mentioned race,” or any number of other responses could have sufficed to sweep this incident under the rug while leaving all the criticisms unaddressed. However, Levine took her criticisms into consideration in a fairly adequate apology. For this, we have to thank the many people who spoke out about her comments.
She listened to Criticism: She considered the implications of her comments. For many this is a step in the painful direction of recognizing one’s own privilege. She recognizes that maybe, despite that she hadn’t intended to be terribly offensive, what she said was racist and based in privilege and uses that line of thinking to reassess her jokes. Levine manages to see that her position is not objective or above implicit bias; this is necessary for adressing racism.

This brings us to the second thing that is done right in this apology: she recognizes personal bias.

For privileged people, it is very difficult to realize that you do not have the undefeated 100% correct objective factual perspective. It helps when thousands of people express their disapproval of your comments, that makes it a bit easier to admit that maybe somewhere along the line you missed something.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But what was she still missing?

She claimed she was living in a vacuum: Maybe this reaction is a misunderstanding of the original criticism that stated that things don’t occur in a vacuum but in fact no, Naomi Levine was not living in a vacuum. Her business grew as the result of its patrons. Her patronage came from a community consisting of people with a history. History is the reason that for Naomi Levine, cops coming to her bakery is not a strange occurrence. This is not a vacuum, it just looked to her like a vacuum because she paid no attention to the people supporting her in the background and their lives.

She didn’t admit privilege: Levine could have used this as an opportunity to acknowledge and discuss privilege. While she does admit she was wrong she does not admit to the depth or reasons she was wrong. On the surface it does seem to be “ignorance”, but as many of her criticizers know, that ignorance comes from an insipid structure called “privilege”. If she had brought this up, it could have led to a much larger dialogue. I could be telling you now about the incarceration rates of people of color versus white people, I could tell you about the pay gap, not between men and women but between white people and people of color. Actually, if Naomi Levine had done a great job in her apology, you would be well versed in these areas.

In short what she fails to do in her apology is take full responsibility for her comments and their effects. She leaves us with the impression that while she feels bad that she made inappropriate comments, they were mainly a result of ignorance which clearly we can understand, right? What we needed from her is an admission that she is ignorant because she has privilege that she hasn’t had to check until now. Intentions aren’t important in racism, it exists structurally in our society and things you say may reinforce those structures. No one is claiming that Naomi Levine intentionally made racist comments but that doesn’t change the offense. It is pointless to argue that a comment wasn’t meant to be racist or to claim that it isn’t about race because in our society ninety-nine out of a hundred times it is about race, whether we notice it or not.

 

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