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A Tale of Two Cities, Both in Chicago – Arrests Made in Latest Anti-Gun Protest

September 6, 2018

Arrested

The Illinois State Police ended a small anti-gun protest Monday in Chicago by making a few arrests. At long last, law enforcement applied the rule of law. However, it took state troopers to do what the notoriously corrupt City of Chicago refused to do just a few weeks ago.

The Rev. Gregory Livingston led this latest effort to block an interstate highway to promote gun control. This time, they tried to shut down the Kennedy Expressway between Chicago and O'Hare International Airport. Their goal:  to bring their cause to the attention to the people not shooting one another every day in the Windy City.

Unfortunately for Rev. Livingston, this time the media far outnumbered protesters. And they tried to shut down a highway that serves a very different segment (and demographic) of Chicago than Fr. Pfleger and his protestors chose in the Dan Ryan shutdown. This time, the Illinois State Police didn't negotiate. They made arrests.

The Chicago Tribune had the story:

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A small anti-violence demonstration Monday near the Kennedy Expressway ended in a way two previous highway protests during the summer did not: with protesters in handcuffs.

A dozen protesters, including the event’s organizer, the Rev. Gregory Livingston, were arrested before they could block traffic on the busy artery that connects downtown Chicago with O’Hare International Airport.

“This shows that we’re willing to sacrifice our freedom for the freedom of others,” Livingston said, calling his arrest a “source of pride.” He said the nonviolent protest delivered the message that large swaths of the city plagued by violence and poverty are being forgotten. “We want to end the ‘tale of two cities’ in the city of Chicago.”

The arrests by Illinois State Police, the agency with jurisdiction over the Kennedy, represented a departure from how police handled two larger protests earlier this summer. In those protests, marchers blocked traffic lanes on the Dan Ryan Expressway and Lake Shore Drive under the watchful eye of the police, but no one was arrested.

This is the same Livingston who appeared with Tio Hardiman at the last pathetic Interstate-blocking soiree "against violence" about a month ago. They tried to shut down Lakeshore Drive and then disrupt a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Despite friends with deep pockets, Livingston couldn't even find two busloads of people to participate.

At that event, the reverend claimed additional buses full of supporters "got caught in traffic" but they never appeared. The motley gaggle then failed to disrupt the Cubs game. Instead, they bloviated outside, to the amusement of Cubs fans watching the circus from inside the stadium. In other words, that gun control protest turned into an epic failure. Not unlike the Labor Day protest.

Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston, center, leads an anti-violence rally outside Wrigley Field, shortly before a Chicago Cubs baseball game, after marching and shutting down Lake Shore Drive, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in Chicago. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP) ORG XMIT: ILCHS504

Hardiman, in the pink shirt above, served as head of the state-funded gun control group Ceasefire, but lost that gig after his wife contacted police with allegations of spousal abuse. A couple of weeks later, she filed for divorce.

And despite two arrests for domestic battery, Tio "#MeToo" Hardiman has run for Illinois governor in the last two primary elections. On his latest campaign website (since removed), he featured "Women's Rights" as a defining campaign issue, front and center.

That's a lot of chutzpah for a guy who caught his first arrest for beating his wife in 1999. At the time, his then-wife said he punched her and threw her to the ground, telling her, "When I get finished with you, nobody's gonna want you!"

No word on whether Hardiman joined Livingston in this latest march for gun control. That didn't stop Livingston from some pretty over-the-top rhetoric though. “We want to end the ‘tale of two cities’ in the city of Chicago.”

Chicago's Democrat machine politicians have helped create two cities in the Windy City. To this day, it's among the most segregated cities in America. Even the left-leaning publication The Atlantic acknowledges that:

Why are large swaths of Chicago’s population unable to get ahead? There are two main reasons. The first and most obvious is the legacy of segregation that has made it difficult for poor black families to gain access to the economic activity in other parts of the city. This segregation has meant that African Americans live near worse educational opportunities and fewer jobs than other people in Chicago. City leaders in Chicago have exacerbated this segregation over the years, according to Diamond, channeling money downtown and away from the poor neighborhoods. “Public policies played a huge role in reinforcing the walls around the ghetto,” he told me.

Meanwhile, Second City Cop, a popular blog run by a Chicago police officer, had some pretty harsh words for the Rev. Livingston:

You want to end the "tale of two cities"? Stop acting like the rules of a civilized society don't apply to your community and join everyone else:
  • the robbery rate is lower,
  • burglary rate lower,
  • drug dealing rate lower,
  • shooting rate lower,
  • and yes, murder rate lower – lower by magnitudes
Try it, you might like it.

Indeed.

There are two cities in Chicago:  Once city where the rules for a civilized society are generally respected and one where they are not.  One part of the city where the gangs run the neighborhoods and another part of the city where the rule of law generally prevails, despite the Democrat-led political corruption that makes everything so expensive. 

Given how this latest gun control stunt masquerading as a gun controm protest ended so badly for the instigators, hopefully Chicagoland commuters will no longer need to worry about artificially created traffic jams.

And with Mayor Rahm Emanuel announcing today that he won't be running for reelection, perhaps Chicago's residents will learn that the grass grows greener — and with far less violent crime — off of the gun control plantation.

One Response to A Tale of Two Cities, Both in Chicago – Arrests Made in Latest Anti-Gun Protest

  1. ChanceMcCall on September 7, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    This could happen only in Illinois

    CeaseFire is a group formerly funded by the State of Illinois (under Gov. Quinn- Gov. Rauner took away their funds) to the tune of $4.5 million per year with another $1 million from the City of Chicago in 2012.

    A former CeaseFire employee accused of leading a double life as a boss for a violent street gang was sentenced Tuesday to a little more than two years in federal prison for illegally possessing a gun despite his felony conviction.

    But in sentencing Francisco “Smokey” Sanchez to 27 months, U.S. District Judge John Lee said prosecutors failed to prove Sanchez was a ranking member of the Gangster Two-Six Nation, even though some of Sanchez’s words and actions captured on undercover wiretaps were “extremely questionable.”

    “Is it possible that Mr. Sanchez was a leader of the Two-Six? Yes, certainly,” Lee said. “But this court doesn’t deal in the realm of possibilities.”

    Sanchez, 51, who spent 24 years in prison for the killing of a gang rival, was charged in 2017 with possession of a weapon by a felon after authorities raided his West Side home as part of a sprawling investigation into the Two-Six and found a .45-caliber pistol hidden in a false book on his bedside table.

    In asking Lee for a four-year sentence that was above the recommended sentencing guidelines, prosecutors said Sanchez was captured on wiretaps ordering the jailhouse beating of a gang member who'd gotten out of line, making personnel decisions in the gang’s hierarchy, agreeing to provide guns to underlings for use on the streets and talking about the shooting of a Two-Six member as punishment for an earlier incident.

    Sanchez’s attorney, Scott Lassar, asked for time served for Sanchez, who has been in custody since last May. Lassar argued that his client's involvement with the gang had been "tragically misunderstood" by the government.

    In court Monday, Sanchez’s former CeaseFire boss, Dr. Gary Slutkin, testified Sanchez was a "gentle, humble and grateful man" who helped save hundreds of lives. Sanchez reportedly prevented gang wars and stopped potential homicides by suggesting beatings instead of more severe punishments.

    He worked in a "gray area" and had to "speak the way they speak" to gain trust, credibility and access to gang members to mediate conflicts, according to Slutkin.

    Slutkin said he intends to rehire Sanchez when he is released but would suggest that he avoid working in the Two-Six gang's Little Village territory, where his actions could be "misconstrued."
    Before his arrest, Sanchez had been tapped to work on the group’s violence-reduction efforts in Latin America.

    Sanchez began working as a “violence interrupter” with CeaseFire in 2010, two years after his release from prison for the murder conviction, records show.

    In 2014, he became a target of the federal probe into the operations of the Two-Six gang — dubbed "Operation Bunny Trap" because of the gang's rabbit insignia. During the raid on Sanchez’s home, authorities found a bulletproof vest in his closet and a copy of the written bylaws of the Two-Six in his backpack in addition to the loaded pistol, prosecutors said.
    Before he handed down the sentence, Lee said that with all the shootings in Chicago, “it baffles me” that Sanchez would think that the way to combat violence was to go out and get a gun.
    “Of all people, Mr. Sanchez should know that violence begets violence,” Lee said.
    Sanchez, dressed in green jail clothes, held his hands behind his back and showed no visible reaction to the sentence.

    In his remarks Monday to the judge, Sanchez said he was "extremely sorry" for having a gun in his home and for "dragging" his family and co-workers through the court proceedings.
    "I ask your honor to let me out as soon as possible to do the job that I love, which helped me save lives in the city, in the country and other countries," he said.

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