Dear Reader:

The recent attacks on property in Wicker Park are a sign of sickness in the minds of a group of self-displaced persons now living in Wicker Park–mainly the north shore and other suburban Anglos who moved into the area a few years ago. These upper-class radicals “living in rags” as they explore their artistic side have become the vanguard of a “take back Wicker Park” movement. I find this humorous. Latinos were doing fine without them, and often find work in the “Lincoln Park” establishments being attacked on and around the center of Wicker Park. These radicals, when they moved from the suburbs of their youth, were the very real seedlings of gentrification. These early Anglo immigrants may feel guilty because their presence in the neighborhood has displaced poor people. They have driven up rents as their “alternative” friends continue the flow into Wicker Park and Bucktown, pushing the poor into cramped outlying areas. They should stop crying about the monster they helped to create. The jobs that are brought into the neighborhood can be beneficial. The anarcho-syndicalist dream of a utopian village will not be created by children of the suburbs and the commercial culture from which they came, and which they bring with them–even to Wicker Park.

M.S. Rodriguez

Rogers Park