Chicago Indymedia :
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Help the A-zone repair its damaged shop and send the message that no one, regardless of political beliefs, has to stand alone against homophobic violence.
Attend an emergency benefit on Saturday, August 31st, 7 PM, at the Autonomous Zone, 2129 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago. $5 or more admission, but absolutely no one turned away for lack of funds. The money will go towards replacing the windows as well as A-Zone rent.

What Happened?

At 2 am, Saturday, August 17th five homophobes yelling anti-
gay epithets attacked a member of the Autonomous Zone collective and broke two of the building's plate glass windows.

Fortunately there were no serious injuries. The Autonomous Zone is an anarchist info shop and community center in

The five attackers are self-proclaimed members of "77 Street Punks," a violently homophobic and racist gang with ties to organized white supremacist hate groups.

Three of the attackers were arrested for vandalism and assault.

The confrontation began with the yelling of anti-gay slurs, such as "Faggots!" outside of the shop. Upon hearing this, a collective member, who was alone in the shop, stepped outside in order to investigate. One of the attackers asked the collective member whether the Azone was "a bunch of anarchists or something?"

When politely told that "some of us are" one of the
attackers punched the collective member in the face, only slightly injuring him since he was able to move back in time to avoid a solid blow.

Two of the other attackers began breaking the A-zone windows. At that point the collective member ran back into the A-zone space and was pelted with milk crates that had been holding free books. As the A-zone member went further
into the space, he was charged at by three or four of the 77 Street Punks.

The A-zone member then picked up a big orange chair and swinging it, was able to intimidate the attackers into leaving the shop. A passing police squad car then intercepted the attackers and arrested three of them.

"We believe the Autonomous Zone was attacked for being anarchist and supporting the Queer Liberation struggle, as well as having openly queer collective members," said one of its members. "The A-zone has actively made the connection between Queer Liberation and Anarchism."

The Autonomous Zone hosts a weekly Queer Space every Wednesday, 7 pm to midnight. All events are free and open to all gender expressions and sexual orientations. Queer Space is organized by Queerzone, a subcollective of the
Autonomous Zone. Queerzone is a multi-racial, multi-gender, class-conscious, queer and genderqueer affinity group run on anti-authoritarian principals, such as consensus decision making. Queer Space is intended to be used for
building community, fostering a radical queer culture, bridging the gaps between the many different queer, genderqueer and Trans communities.

"The Autonomous Zone will not back down," said one of the collective members. "We will continue to host queer events, struggle for queer liberation and fight against homophobia, heterosexism, transphobia, misogyny, racism and
other forms of bigotry. We will defend ourselves and our communities."


Public Transportation: Western or California Blue Line stops, Milwaukee Bus or the Western Bus (which actually runs all night). For more information,
call the A-zone's new phone number, 773.235.7370.



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