Social and Political Intervention Scrapbook

Several examples of "social and political intervention" work done by Communications for Change that was aided by the use of video. Most actions concern the fight for adequate housing in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago.

00:00Copy video clip URL Gray.

00:08Copy video clip URL A crowd of people on the streets of Chicago, protesting, singing to the tune of the 19th Century marching song, John Brown’s Body. The new words: “Old John Davis is a con’n us again.”

00:29Copy video clip URL A protestor says they’re trying to get bugs exterminated from apartments. They have mice running around, water bugs, and roaches. She says they are outside the HUD building because HUD promised them a conversion from coal heat to gas heat. They are slow in coming through on their promise. We have to do something. We’re paying rent and constantly asking for complete extermination of these bugs. She holds a jar of roaches and bugs. We caught these this morning. There are other problems. Some of our mailboxes have no doors. Some bells don’t work. Screens are busted. We’ve been promised new screens, doors, mailboxes, hallways painted, new carpet no the stairs. We haven’t seen much of that. And some of the rents have gone up. They shouldn’t do that if we’re not getting what we’re paying for. Some will have to move out because rents are so high.

03:15Copy video clip URL B-roll of the protestors holding signs, singing.

03:27Copy video clip URL A female protestor holds a cake covered in bugs. She says they want to present it to John Davis as a symbol of what they have to contend with each day. We cannot get in the building to deliver this. The doors are locked.

03:58Copy video clip URL Inside the building, John Davis walks through a crowd of people.

04:27Copy video clip URL Interview with a female protestor who says they ran around back and tried to get in. They did and went to John Davis’ office. We tried to talk to him. He called the police. He took us into a room told us to sit, stalled, waiting for the police. He refused to talk to us. He never did talk. We left him the cake with a dead mouse and roaches. No we’ve left the building and are on our way home. When asked what she thinks they’ll do next, the woman responds that she doesn’t know, but it’ll be good.

05:51Copy video clip URL Channel 7 news reports on the poor conditions of the housing complex on North Broadway. They investigate all the problems. They show how deteriorated the back wooden stairs are, so rotted, they crumble at the slightest touch. If the boilers aren’t converted from coal to gas by next month, the needed conversion permit will be forfeited. HUD says they will be converted. HUD says the building will be brought up to code and then sold.

07:37Copy video clip URL Gray.

07:45Copy video clip URL A man addressing a crowd says he will show them the building, but they are not building inspectors. One of the crowd says we realize we can’t see everything on this sheet. That’s not what we’re looking for. He’s interrupted. They talk about inspecting the apartment. We’re willing to look at anything you’re willing to show us. But we’d like to see an apartment. The owner acquiesces.

09:10Copy video clip URL Outside a man is being interviewed He is reporting the repairs done and needed in his building. Rents go from one hundred and forty dollars a month for a two bedroom. Doesn’t seem unreasonable. The units are furnished. Our purpose in coming here is to make sure the repairs are getting done. We’re not asking them to do anything except bring buildings up to code. Another man says, “I’ve been making repairs every day for the last couple of months!” The harassment these groups have created have forced him to hire hundreds of people.

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10:32Copy video clip URL B-roll of a crowd and news cameras in a city government office. A voiceover says on October 31, 1973, the community justice action of the Organization of the Northeast led a Halloween protest of over one hundred people to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. They spoke out against the political infighting between the Republican State’s Attorney and Democratic County Board leading to the neglected duties of the Attorney’s staff. There is footage of citizens complaining to the State’s Attorney’s Office. A woman says the State’s Attorney, Bernard Carey, did not realize what’s going on. The citizens didn’t realize they could go to the bench and talk to the judge. This has created fury. Justice delayed is justice denied. A man says these aren’t the kind of cases you should slough off. State’s Attorney Carey listens.

13:43Copy video clip URL Continued footage of Carey talking to his people. “We will make an investigation,” he says. “I’m glad you told me you’re a lawyer. You’re a better one than I am.” The State’s Attorney tells the group he has a quarrel with how this meeting was called. “I walked into this, this is a private office. Entry is by invitation.” A man says you’re telling us that you can’t provide the justice needed with the staff you have. The State’s Attorney responds, “No. What I’m saying is we can do a better job if we have the tools necessary to do the job.”

15:37Copy video clip URL More footage of the meeting.

16:05Copy video clip URL A journalist reports that after leaving this office the protestors went to George Dunne’s office to present a petition stating the needs of the community, and asked to speak at the next county board meeting. A woman recaps: he said if you want to be sure you have a time slot on Monday’s hearing you need to make an appointment with Mr. Igo. So we will make an appointment to do so. A man reads a letter they left with Mr. Dunne. “We are outraged by the ridiculous number of case continuances which are being allowed or requested by the county’s prosecuting attorneys. We are outraged by having cases continued when residents from the Uptown / Edgewater community take a day off of work to appear in court, and offer their support in the prosecution of persons charged with criminal acts against other residents of this community. We have demanded changes from State’s Attorney office.” They also request demands of Mr. Dunne: an end to the cat and mouse method for preparing Cook County’s budget; an establishment of a coordinated budget for law enforcement in Cook County; public hearings on the Cook County budget prior to its adoption; the low number of prosecutors in Cook County states attorney’s office be doubled; an end to the feuding of politicians and an end to street crime and gang activity of this city.

18:13Copy video clip URL A journalist reports that as a result adequate staff has been promised. We will watch carefully for the implementation of this promise.

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18:30Copy video clip URL A huge pothole in a city street. A woman standing in it (the hole is up to her knees). “I’m so scared someone will fall in!” It’s been going on three or four months. People from the city come by, but don’t do anything about it. It’s dangerous. A man takes a photo of her. Another man helps the woman out of the hole.

19:58Copy video clip URL Still video image of a shirtless older man with white hair.

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