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Occupied TerritoryPolicing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power$
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Simon Balto

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469649597

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469649597.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

You Can’t Shoot All of Us

You Can’t Shoot All of Us

Radical Politics, Machine Politics, and Law and Order in the Great Depression

(p.56) Chapter 2 You Can’t Shoot All of Us
Occupied Territory

Simon Balto

University of North Carolina Press

The book’s second chapter covers the decade of the Great Depression and the World War II years. One of its principal focuses is the rise of Chicago’s infamous Democratic machine, which emerged as the dominant force in Chicago machine politics after years of back-and-forth tussling with its Republican counterpart. Democratic leaders beginning in 1931 used the police force as a bludgeon against the Black community to try to force it to vote Democratic, and utilized it in other ways to control Black Chicago politically. This was seen most acutely within the context of the rising tide of political radicalism that shaped Black Chicago during this time, especially the labors of the Communist Party and, later, organizations with the Popular Front as they challenged Depression-era austerity and battled with the police as austerity’s frequent enforcers (as in the case of evictions). To check such radicalism, Democratic politicians unleashed the infamous Red Squad, which cracked down viciously on political dissidents, often violently and illegally, setting important precedents. The decade also saw the expansion of a practice known as “stop and seizure,” an antecedent to the infamous practice of “stop and frisk.”

Keywords:   Great Depression, Communist Party, Radicalism, Machine politics, Democratic machine, Red Squad, Popular Front, Stop-and-frisk

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