Saturday, June 26, 2010

Open Letter to the "Gacy Hole"

The following statement is being circulated amongst Chicago-area punk scenes encouraging bands to boycott the venue known as the "Gacy Hole":
Open Letter to the "Gacy Hole"
For the past six months the Gacy Hole has been throwing shows in Pilsen and at nearly every show people have been harassed with acts of racism and sexism. When the people who live there were confronted, they made it clear they have no interest in keeping their space safe for women, LGBTQ folks or people of color. People at the Gacy Hole made all kinds of familiar liberal privileged arguments defending "freedom of expression" with no content or context for what this freedom is. At a time when the people of Pilsen are targets of gentrification, being displaced by white artists and hipsters who move in neighborhood and raise property values; the Gacy Hole is not only gentrifying but helping create unsafe spaces by not addressing oppressive behavior in their space.

In the most recent incident a belligerent crew of skinheads spent the night badgering women and making homophobic comments while brandishing white power tattoos, a "Skrewdriver" shirt, an S.S. pin and a Swastika patch. Below is a testimony from a witness:

"June 19th, 2010, there was a show at the gacy hole ... non-racist skins showed up along with some older scum punks. What i mean by scum punks is: they were womanizing and and instigating fights. Both "groups" I mentioned were violently instigating people and saying sexually oppressing words towards females. numerous reports and complaints were exchanged to the attendance but few action was taken within attendance. this is what i am talking about. this apathetic attitude of "who cares, they didn't say anything to me" needs to be changed...

here are some reports on what i heard: "i'd like to go wherever that drunk girl is going." "you're fucking hot" "how much?"

some actions included: over friendly help with intoxicated females. what i mean by this is they were acting as if they were helping an intoxicated female get around but they were really just "copping a feel". talking to intoxicated girls that clearly weren't interested and wouldn't stop harassing... yes, i spoke up, along with the help of very few. i expected more help from but no one seemed to care. most didn't seem bothered by all of this. there was a report of a skin head getting beaten towards the end of the show. you may say "no one deserves to get beaten." try to talk in a civil manner to someone with this mentality and see what happens."

The testimony above is not merely an isolated occurrence; it is the general atmosphere of every show thrown at the Gacy Hole. The all too familiar liberal take on "freedom of speech" creates a powder keg, creating an unsafe space that fosters sexual assault, queerbashing and other forms of oppressive violence. They are willing to stand against those confronting bigotry yet they refuse to ever question those actively engaging in chauvinistic, racist and sexist behavior. Their ambivalence shows that the the Gacy Hole is more concerned with making sure that Nazis, racists, homophobes, misogynists and other bigots are safe in expressing or acting on their fucked up politics than they are in making sure that people of color, women, LGBTQ people and any of the other people targeted by many Gacy Hole regulars feel safe even being in the venue.

Attempts at discussion have been made and never met by the tenants of the Gacy Hole. The show must not go on. Because of this We hereby DEMAND that the shows at the Gacy Hole end and that the people who live there move out of Pilsen. White, middle class, suburban bros have no place in Pilsen or the Chicago punk community, especially when they show their lack of principles by putting people in danger. Additionally we demand that all Chicago area punk bands and venues refuse to support the Gacy Hole in any way. Do not play at the Gacy Hole and do not play with any of the bands that play with "Sex Bunker" or the "Shitheads" whose members live at the Gacy Hole until they stop throwing shows and move out.

1 comment:

  1. hey this is goin on in my neighborhood what can i do to stop this?