Por Eso Se Rebelaron
Mixed Media, Archival Articles,
Lyrics from Los Motines De Chicago by Simón Gómez
Rebel Betty Arte
Do Not Resist: For The People's Art Collective
These paintings represent the shooting of Arcelis Cruz by the Chicago Police in 1966. The Humboldt Park and Wicker Park neighborhoods were the cities largest Puerto Rican communities and its residents majorally lived in slum conditions and faced rampant oppression by the police and city in general. Members of the community who responded to the shooting was beat back by the police inciting a riot that would last for 3 days.
Los Motines de Chicago was a song written by Simon Gomez in Puerto Rico to memorialize the communities response to police violence.
The uprising began on June 12, the day after the very first downtown Día de San Juan parade ever. A cop named Thomas Munyon was chasing 20-year-old Arcelis Cruz and his friend through an alley near Damen and Division. Munyon drew his weapon and fired, hitting Cruz in the leg. This was witnessed by a group of people at the corner who attempted to come to Cruz’ aid. When the rest of Munyon’s cop squad showed up, they beat the crowd with their nightsticks and even let attack dogs loose on the people. This savage attack by the cops enraged the growing crowd, which began to fight back.
This uprising against police brutality lasted three days and three nights. White-owned businesses in the Puerto Rican community were targeted as symbols of racism and national oppression.
Battles were fought between Puerto Rican youth and the cops, with the youth armed only with bricks, rocks and bottles. Roberto Medina, who was 18 at the time and secretary- treasurer of the Puerto Rican Congress organization, said, “Some people thought that it was a bunch of yahoos within the community, criminals that started this whole thing. That wasn’t true. It had to do with ... the frustrations that we as a community were experiencing.” Medina is now a labor activist in Chicago.
"The rebellion was centered on Division Street, between Hoyne and Damen Avenues. A crowd gathered there on the second night of the uprising to air their grievances against the cops. '"
Workers World Except see article below: