The Division Street Riots
were episodes of rioting
and civil unrest
which occurred between June 12 and June 14, 1966.
History and cause
It was during the first downtown Puerto Rican Parade
on June 12, 1966, that the first Puerto Rican riot in the U.S. began on Division Street, Chicago
. The riot, one of many urban disturbances across the nation in the 1960s, was a response to the shooting of a young Puerto Rican man by Chicago Police
. There was rioting until June 14, when community leaders rallied in the park to devise strategies to calm the crowds
cause of the riots was the deteriorating economic conditions facing Puerto Ricans and African Americans
, which embodied many aspects of the national urban crisis
. Ethnic conflicts, especially those between young Puerto Ricans
and Polish Americans
, prevailed during the transition period.
The Division Street riot was a key moment in the history of Puerto Ricans in Chicago. It drew attention to the continued displacement of Puerto Ricans from downtown and the lakefront areas of Chicago by city-sponsored urban renewal
projects. The additional issues of poverty
and strained relations between Puerto Ricans and Chicago's police department
also played a major role and was considered the spark to the violence.
A month after the riot, the Chicago Commission on Human Relations
held open hearings which provided a forum for Puerto Rican
and other Spanish-speaking residents of Chicago to discuss problems... Read More