Spectacle in the Windy City

Slaughterhouse is a thorough, entertaining exploration of Chicago’s bloody past

At its most efficient, the bloody sea of workers at these packinghouses took a little over half an hour to process each of the 7,000 hogs that passed through their factories every day.


Chicago to Baltimore

Protesters rally for Freddie Gray, Rekia Boyd, and other victims of police brutality

Courtesy of Black Youth Project 100

“They worked tirelessly to keep us from this property. That’s the only shit they care about.”


Mitchell Attacks Rauner Budget

Carrie Chui

Much of the town hall meeting, which took place in the auditorium of Bouchet Math and Science Academy in South Shore, was devoted to ripping into the (to use Mitchell’s word) “draconian” budget proposal.


Small Garden, Big City

Two urban farmers talk church greens, Englewood, and a not-very-pathetic peach tree.

Liana Sonenclar

“They can just bury me over in the garden someplace.”

Activism | Lit | Politics

Guns, Taken as Gospel

Remembering armed resistance and the civil rights movement

In his epilogue to This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed, journalist Charles E. Cobb Jr. describes how Stokely Carmichael, one of the founders of the Black Panther Party, was roundly condemned by other leaders in the civil rights movement after his call for Black Power in 1966. The founding of the Black Panther Party and other groups advocating for black militarism is often seen today as an unwelcome injection of radicalism into a movement founded on something akin to Gandhi’s principles of nonviolent resistance. Continue reading


A Rare Vacancy in the 11th

Three candidates fight for the 11th Ward’s first aldermanic vacancy in seventeen years


When Patrick D. Thompson announced that he would be running for a seat on the City Council in the late summer of 2014, few political prognosticators would have picked against him. Thompson has been a commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District since 2012; the widely-recognized, much-maligned middle initial of his name marks him as a member of the Daley family, the political powerhouse within Chicago—and even more locally, Bridgeport— that counts two mayors, a White House chief of staff, and a current Cook County commissioner among its ranks. Despite this, the election has been closer than most might have anticipated; though a recent poll still showed Thompson in the lead among residents, with about thirty-seven percent, the two other candidates in the race—John Kozlar and Maureen Sullivan—were holding at about twenty-two and twelve percent, respectively, while the rest of the prospective voters polled remained undecided. As the race gears up for its final days, residents of the 11th Ward (redistricting has added East Pilsen and University Village to the area) are left to choose from a strange, disparate grouping: a twenty-five-year-old law student, a longtime pet shop owner and community activist, and a real estate lawyer burdened and blessed by his affiliation with a family that has ruled the ward for more than half a century. Continue reading