Activists protest Chicago teen curfew, say exceptions for events like Lollapalooza are unfair

CHICAGO (CBS) – With Lollapalooza in full swing, the town’s teenage curfew has sparked controversy.

The Grant Park Music Festival attracts a young audience. But as it stands, the 10 p.m. curfew for those under 18 does not apply at certain events – including ticketed concerts.

As CBS 2’s Marybel González reported Friday night, some young activists say it’s not fair that the curfew applies to some teens and not others.

The city says the curfew is a way to crack down on crime. But activists call it unconstitutional and say they are ready to take it to court.

They used Lollapalooza itself as a place to protest city politics.

“If you have a ticket to Lollapalooza – general admission or otherwise – then you don’t have to observe this curfew, which immediately struck me as really weird,” said young campaigner Isaiah Pinzino from Brighton Park. Neighborhood Council.

On the opening day of Lollapalooza, Pinzino – along with other activists from the GoodKids MadCity organization – stood outside the concert gates to denounce the city’s 10 p.m. curfew – as well as the executive order banning unaccompanied minors from Millennium Park on weekend nights.

A clause in the ordinance allows minors coming from a ticketed event like Lollapalooza to stay past curfew.

“It also shows they’re willing to circumvent the so-called safety reforms they’re offering spectators – which is absolutely ridiculous,” Pinzino said.

In May, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the measure as a way to tackle crime, shootings and rowdy crowds. Sadly, a 16-year-old boy named Seandell Holliday was shot and killed outside the Cloud Gate sculpture during a chaotic rally in Millennium Park in May.

But campaigners say curfews and other restrictions on young people are not a solution.

A lawyer representing the activists sent a letter to the city asking them to lift the curfew. They call the measure unconstitutional and disproportionately affecting black and brown teens.

The city did not respond to our request for comment on the letter.

We have also reached out to Chicago police to ask what happens to teens who attend the concert and stay out of curfew. The city said: “It is a defense for the minor to participate in a paid event or to return from it.”


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