Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch Sets Big Pro-Police Rally at Archer/Harlem

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Two months after nearly 70 men, women and children
GRNW leaders talk to neighbors Monday night.
stood at Archer and Nashville in darkness, rain and near-freezing temperatures—all to show support for Chicago Police officers—those same people and possibly hundreds more are expected to rally at Archer and Harlem at noon Saturday, April 2.

“A turnout of that many people in that kind of weather, on short notice, said a lot about the strong character of our neighborhoods,” said Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch President Al Cacciottolo. “If the springtime weather is good and enough people know about this ahead of time, we may get 10 times as many people as before.”

Plans for the 60-minute rally were announced by Cacciottolo at the GRNW’s March meeting, held at St. Jane de Chantal Parish’s Ward Hall. About 50 people attended.

The February rally was held, at least in part, Cacciottolo said, by a report in a daily newspaper that he said unfairly tarred and feathered Garfield Ridge as a haven for police officers accused of misconduct.

The April 2 rally was scheduled, at least in part, as a reaction to last week’s Palm Sunday Takeover, a protest by the Community Renewal Society against police brutality. The protest, which included blocking streets, station entrances and other acts of civil disobedience, was held at most CPD stations, including the Eighth District.

“This rally will be strong, but lawful and peaceful,” Cacciottolo added. “We will stay on the sidewalks and not block streets. Archer and Harlem is a high-visibility location, and we intend to use it to put our community’s best foot forward as we show our support for our Eighth District police.”


The weather forecast for April 2 calls for temperatures in the high 40s with little chance of rain. Those interested in participating are encouraged to wear blue and make signs of support for police. All are expected to gather on the sidewalks adjacent to the Walgreens on the intersection’s northeast corner, as well as sidewalks adjacent to Joe & Frank’s Market, on the southeast corner.

Cacciottolo said that the Summit Police Department will stage a similar rally on the west side Archer and Harlem at the same time, as a coordinated city-suburban show of support for law enforcement.

Also at Monday’s meeting GRNW board member Arlene White announced that the group’s Sell-A-Bration event is set for Saturday, May 21. The rummage sale-style event will once again be held outdoors in the parking lot of Kennedy High School, 56th and Narragansett.

Proceeds from the event help fund the various community improvement projects spearheaded by the GRNW, including helping Garfield Ridge residents in need.

Volunteers are needed to promote and staff the event. Donations of items for raffle baskets are also needed. Those interested in more information are encouraged to send a message to email@garfieldridgenw.com.

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