Chicago, 2 - ??? strike in Chicago turned into a good humoured demonstration on Thursday?
Chicago, 2 - ??? strike in Chicago turned into a good humoured demonstration on Thursday (September 1) with furniture being moved in and out of apartments, tenants handcuffed to radiators, and a lively all-night vigil. Police arrested six of the demonstrators at various times of day.
Old Town Gardens is a 628-unit block of flats in a bohemian neighbourhood of Chicago. It is integrated. On August 1, a tenants group--the Tenants Action Council--called a rent strike. They refused to pay their rent, charging that the apartments were rundown and vermin infested; they also sought to force the management to recognize the Tenants Action Council as the bargaining agent for the Old Town Gardens residents. The managements obtained legal eviction notices against 130 of the tenants and the city of Chicago moved Thursday, September 1, to have the notices executed.
City officials, bailiffs, police and professional moving men turned up at the Gardens Thursday and cleared out a third floor apartment, carrying the furniture into the street. A crowd of citizens promptly moved it back in again. Many of them appeared to be bystanders. The movers took the furniture out again, but the crowd this time moved it from the street into another apartment. A second apartment, belonging to Linda Johnson, a social worker, was cleared by the covers. This time, police blocked the building door and so Miss Johnson's furniture remained in the street, surrounded by demonstrators. Then a third apartment was cleared, its tenant --Virgil Crandell--- handcuffed himself to a radiator inside it. Miss Johnson handcuffed herself to his radiator too along with a sympathizer. (In our film, Miss Johnson is at screen right; Mr. Crandell is in suit and tie.) They stayed about two hours and left. Later, two others handcuffed themselves to the same radiator, but this time police arrested them and four others. All were charged with criminal trespass.
With the furniture of Miss Johnson and Mr. Crandell heaped on the sidewalk, the demonstrator held a rally and vowed to stay all night. They marched, sand freedom songs, and talked. Late in the evening, Mr. Crandell was perched on one of his chairs serving coffee to friends and giving every appearance of enjoying himself. The demonstrators were still there Friday morning.