Rainbow Sash Movement Alert Concerning the Chicago Pride Parade

If you are planning on attending the Chicago Gay Pride Parade this Sunday, June 24 kicking off at 12 Noon the Rainbow Sash Movement is advising extreme caution for personal safety. We all want to have a good time and celebrate pride but in years past public intoxication and drug abuse mixed with the growing crowd control problem have in our opinion reached a critical level. Last year we had a crowd of between 750,000 and 800,000 according to the City of Chicago Police Department estimates. This year that number is reasonably expected to increase, and may even reach the 1 Million Mark.
The Lakeview neighborhood the parade is scheduled move through is not capable of handling these extreme numbers of party goers. We are advising the very old and families with young children to exercise extreme caution if you must go out between the hours of 12 Noon and 4PM.
Last year city emergency vehicles found it next to impossible getting to people in need of those emergency services. What has been done to insure that does not happen again this year, or at the very least minimize it?
Have Alderman Tunney (44th Ward) and Cappleman (46th Ward) put together a strategic plan to insure public safety, or is this something Mayor Emmanuel’s Office is handling?
Last year the Chicago Police Department did not have a handle on the crowd control situation, and Chicago Public Transit stops on the Red Line at Belmont and Addison were closed down because of a dangerous overcrowding of that system. What plans if any have been made with the CTA to minimize this interruption of service? So people seeking to leave the area can do it safely.
We would also recommend that CTA make available more cooling buses throughout the parade route for seniors and the very young, and that the location of these cooling buses be better advertised on the CTA system, and elsewhere.
While the expanding of the parade route might satisfy the flow of the parade itself it does little or next to nothing in controlling the crowds that will be attracted to the Halsted area between Belmont and Halsted, and Broadway and Halsted. The true magnet for many of the party goers will be the bars that line the streets between these two major intersections. It is here we had incidents in the past such as fights and other public altercations.
The Rainbow Sash Movement is asking those who come to the Pride Parade to exercise caution, if you are going to drink do so responsibly and not to point of intoxication. Also recognize that when exiting the area after the parade some public transportation facilities may not be readily available so be prepared to walk long distances wear comfortable shoes.
Our police department will be working under some very difficult situations when it comes to crowd control, and enforcing the open container law. These men and women are there for our safety so be sure to be respectful, and if you have an extra bottle of cold water don’t be afraid to share it with them. We all need to be properly hydrated during this warm weather.
Celebrate Pride responsibly.
Robert Kline
Rainbow Sash Movement
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