By Mark Weyermuller
Today Chicago enters Governor Pritzker's so-called “Phase 3” of his COVID plan to reopen offices, retail stores and outdoor dining. This all is taking place as storefronts are being boarded up to avoid further damage from looting during riots.
The “peaceful protests” continued yesterday with separate marches on Chicago's south and north side. The issue with the protests, while mostly peaceful, is they tend lead to riots and looting. They are a disruption to traffic and are diverting police resources.
I personally witnessed a bus shelter damaged at Clark and Burton where two agitators ran up and smashed the side glass. There were no police in this area so the offenders just mixed back in the march. Several other protesters ran over and called them out to their credit. A government poster promoting “fatherhood” was ripped from the bus shelter and thrown to the ground.
It appeared that the chaos was winding down when I stopped by to do a “window visit” with a family member. She lives in a long term memory care nursing home in Lincoln Park, next door to a Target. As I arrived, I found it being boarded up with two armed private security security guards in the lobby of the nursing home.
So as Chicago enters Phase 3 of reopening today, the whole COVID 19 situation appears to have disappeared as people are out protesting without distancing and not following the governor's stay-at-home order.
The Chicago Police are doing a wonderful job under a huge amount of stress. There are unconfirmed reports that they have “stand down” orders to avoid confrontations and limit arrests. An amateur video filmed Monday shows a police car on West Madison and Pulaski having its windows smashed with an angry crowd around it. Police are seen one hundred yards away waiting for additional officers. This video was taken down from YouTube and I have not seen it on local newscasts.
The photo above shows two officers taking a well deserved break as they guard Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue.
One tactic that might slow the violence is publishing the names, bail situations, and mugshots of people being arrested for looting. Many of the looters are reported in cars with no license plates.
The Illinois State Police are here now, being backed up with Humvees from the National Guard. Hopefully, the chaos will end so Chicago can reopen.
Mark Weyermuller is a small business person, real estate professional, and conservative activist in Chicago. He is a citizen journalist, frequent guest on talk radio, and regular contributor to Illinois Review.