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Cops Arrest Criminal Keg at Pilsen Benefit

Chicago cops humiliated after raiding bennefit for women in Afganistan
Cops Arrest Criminal Keg at Pilsen Benefit
By Kari Lydersen

“Chicago’s Finest” were in fine form in Pilsen on Saturday night, April 14, as they descended on a benefit for women in Afghanistan with four unmarked squad cars, claiming they thought the punk show, which was clearly advertised in a large poster on the door, was “one of those raves we have a lot of in this neighborhood,” according to an officer who declined to give his name but said he was from the 12th District.

At first the cops seemed intent on arresting organizer Lupe Sosa and four or five young people, on dubious charges of underage drinking, selling alcohol or holding an event without a license and possibly trespassing. The underage drinking charge didn’t hold much weight when it was proven that the renegade keg had never been tapped, however. And the large poster on the door, a space at 1809 S. Allport, clearly stated that the show was a benefit, with a suggested donation but no admission price being charged. The cop also claimed that when he went out back, “I smelled marijuana.”

“The last time I checked, that was still illegal,” he said.

Thanks to quick cell phone communication by attendees at the party, the word got out and a crowd of about 60 quickly gathered outside the space, as the police continued to detain Sosa and several other young people inside. (Conveniently enough, a large crowd of activists, many who were coming from a Direct Action Network Skill Share earlier in the day, were just a mile away at a birthday party for Indymedia photographer Dawn Roberts.)

Finally, the cops ended up bringing a paddy wagon and two uniformed officers.

The only one arrested, however, was the untapped keg of beer.

Two plainclothes officers dragged the keg out, mumbling, “This one’s under arrest” and refusing to meet the eyes of the jeering crowd, then hefted the keg into the paddy wagon.

"The keg went limp. We hear it might be charged with resisting arrest," said one attendee.

The paddy wagon and four cars took off to cheers, laughter and applause from the crowd, elated over having turned another example of harassment of Latino youth into a humiliating experience for the police. At least the cops still had the keg to help drown their wounded pride.
 
 

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