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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

South Shore Cleanup From Looting Starts Monday Morning: ‘It Is Imperative We Do Not Decimate Our Own Communities’

Neighborhood groups have organized a cleanup along 71st Street after storefronts were looted and damaged.

South Shore residents and members of the Neighborhood Network Alliance participate in a Walk, Talk and Stroll event for neighborhood unity last July.
Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
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SOUTH SHORE — After Sunday’s looting and damage along 71st Street, the South Shore Chamber and the Neighborhood Network Alliance have organized a cleanup of the area Monday morning.

The cleanup runs 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and will start in the parking lot of the South Shore Chamber headquarters, 1750 E. 71st St. Social distancing will be practiced.

Donations of heavy bags, brooms and shovels are needed, according to organizers.

Activists pleaded with people throughout the day not to destroy their neighborhoods after Mayor Lori Lightfoot shut down access to Downtown and all public transit in the city was abruptly shut down 6:30 p.m. Sunday-5 a.m. Monday.

“It is imperative that we do not lose sight of the systemic and structural changes that George Floyd’s killing and so many others have perpetuated,” the chamber and Neighborhood Network Alliance said in a statement. “But equally as important, it is imperative that we do not decimate our own communities in the process.”

The damage creates serious problems for South Shore community groups like the Neighborhood Network Alliance, which use volunteers, said lead steward Val Free. She said Sunday’s events caused her to “question [her] next steps.”

“I’m very frustrated,” Free said. “We’re going to wake up tomorrow and [South Shore] is going to feel like a third-world country.”

The sound of sirens and choppers continued in South Shore through Sunday night and into the morning, as was the case in much of the city after a day of unrest. Parts of the neighborhood smelled of heavy smoke early Monday morning.

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