Chicago, IL

Chicago Alder Condemns Mexican Independence Day Events, Streets Shut Down; "This is Not Who We Are"

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Call for stronger city action due to violence, illegal street shutdowns, dangerous crowd behavior; "black eye for the Chi-Mexican community”
Photo byCosmopolitan of Las Vegas/flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0]

Chicago's downtown area turned chaotic during Mexican Independence Day celebrations, prompting Ald, Raymond Lopez and others to condemn the events, The annual celebration took a dark turn this year as large parts of the city had to be shut down due to illegal street takeovers and public safety concerns.

During the festivities, illegal street takeovers disrupted the flow of traffic, causing significant inconvenience to residents and visitors alike. These street takeovers led Alder Lopez to voice his concerns over the city's response to such incidents, saying he was sickened and disheartened.

“This is not who we are,” said Lopez

Ald. Silvana Tabares also weighed in on the matter, stating that while she supports cultural celebrations, the city must ensure that they are safe for everyone involved. She emphasized the need for a balance between cultural events and public safety, calling the event, “officially a black eye for the Chi-Mexican community.”

Tabares added, “The last two nights have been vile, ignorant and embarrassing,” Tabares wrote. “[Thank you] to 8th District, Streets and [Sanitation] and [volunteers] for attacking the cleanup.”

Lopez called for Chicago to take more aggressive action in situations like these to ensure the safety of its citizens and to allow the city to continue functioning.

“Ticketing, impounding vehicles and the like because people are not safe,” Lopez said. “Garbage and debris are left in their wake, and we really need to get back to celebrating our culture in true Mexican fashion. Not this organized madness we see playing out year after year.”

In addition to the disruptions caused by illegal street takeovers, the celebrations took a tragic turn when two teenagers were stabbed in Chicago's Loop. This unfortunate incident further underscored the need for enhanced security measures and crowd control during public events.

Police continue to search for suspects after the stabbings. The attack took place about 12:30am when a 19-year old and 15-year-old began arguing with a group of other males. The older teen was stabbed in the stomach and the younger teen was stabbed in the back. Both were rushed to hospitals and remain in fair condition.

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