Grassroots: The common people at a local level.

The word Grassroots is normally used in relation to political campaigns. But it also can be applied to the people at a local level that without the big money or political savvy can take up a cause, push it through and bring justice to their purpose.

http://www.lakeandhalsted.com/ did just that. According to their website, the story began in the summer of 2005, every weekend night at the closing hour 3:00am fighting among club goers escalated in the vicinity of the Lake & Halsted nightclubs especially Chromium NiteClub. The fighting, screaming, drug use, public peeing, property destruction escalated to such a fervor that neighbors and local business owners started to protest the lack of civility and safety in their neighborhood.

Saturday Nite's Alright For Fightin....... ummm so's Sunday!

The City of Chicago trying to appease the neighbors and to stem the violence started to station Police and Tactical Officers outside the Chromium Niteclub on Saturday night to Sunday when the most violent of street fighting occurred. Unfortunately, this was not enough. On the LakeandHalsted website you will see that even with the presence of Police, horrible fighting still occurred. That is when the neighborhood took action. That is when they became a Grassroots Organization determined to stem the violence, make the Chromium Niteclub owners responsible for their patrons and bring some semblance of peace back to their neighborhood where they worked and lived.

The neighbors took the usual course of action. They met with Aldermen, they filed petitions, they worked with law enforcement but it wasn’t until a lone woman started to film the violence from her Art Studio across from the club that officials started to wake up to the problems that this particular nightclub caused. This woman weathered threats to her property and even threats on her life but still she kept filming. And then the unthinkable happened. On August 19th a young man visiting the club, with family members for the first time, lost his life that night. He was shot 5 times in the back by some idiot clubgoer that took offense to this young man’s presence. This murder was done in plain sight of the Police stationed at the club.

On the website you can hear and see what the neighbors see, hear and witness: http://www.lakeandhalsted.com/

Now people started to notice; especially a local news station. Interviewing the brave artist that took up her camera, the terrors that this nightclub allowed were finally being taken seriously. On October 29th the Liquor Commission pulled the liquor license from the owner. It was pulled on a technicality and not because of the violence but I know the attention this story was given helped and was due to the bravery and courage of this Grassroots Organization.

The definition of Grassroots is “the common people”. There is nothing common about these heroes.


dave said...

That's crazy! All that evidence and nothing happening to shut that hole down... Who's getting paid what?

Jude's BlogLoggin said...

I agree Dave! I told the artist that is documenting this to follow the money trail and like good old Al Capone, the illegal activities will catch up with these offenders!

Eric A Hopp said...

Where is Patrick Swayze when you need him? I mean, Swayze really cleaned up the Double Deuce in the film Road House, so something like this should be an English Tea Party for him--served with both crumpets, and Swayze's shirt off! Although I will have to admit that Road House actually devolved from a box office flop into a Mystery Science Theater cult film noir.

On a more serious note, I'm surprised that the City of Chicago didn't station even more police officers near the Chromium Nite Club, even when they may have realized that the violence was getting out of hand, or even after the murder of that young man in front of police. That should have been the wake-up call for the city to tell the nightclub to either clean up, or we're shutting you down.

Jude's BlogLoggin said...

Thanks for posting Eric - Love Your Blog and Your Thoughts!

Here is the kicker the Area 12 Police Department did station more police (see the LakeandHalsted website)so Karen had no complaints about them BUT to shut it down was near impossible! Some money was crossing hands somewhere and this watchdog group are trying to find the trail. Chromium Nightclub used all kinds of "civil rights" ordinances to tie the Police's hands. They are scumbags.

blogger templates | Make Money Online