'Absolutely organized and coordinated' / Trump's bunker hunker / 'A country on the verge of war'

Welcome back after a weekend that made clear—again—just how essential local news is.

‘Absolutely organized and coordinated.’ Mayor Lightfoot says she’s sure the storefront-by-storefront wreckage inflicted Saturday by looters in Chicago was not a collection of random crimes.
“They were clearly listening to our radio traffic [as demonstrated by] the number of haul trucks that magically showed up in front of stores.”
And someone was strategically disrupting police radio.
Experts on extremist groups see the hand of the far right.

‘A super-spreader event.’ The weekend’s gatherings—peaceful or not—have Lightfoot worried about a new round of COVID-19 infections.
Phase 3 of Chicago’s reopening in the pandemic may now be delayed beyond Wednesday.
Illinois driver’s service facilities didn’t reopen today as planned.
Chicago Public Schools has suspended a citywide food distribution program.
Working from home? Get ready for an electric (bill) shock.

‘A guiding light.’ Journalist Dave Hoekstra celebrates the unrelenting optimism of Don Flesch, third-generation owner of Chicago’s oldest camera store, Central Camera …
 … whose destruction Saturday night yielded a stirring interview on CBS 2 …
 … and a GoFundMe drive for which had, as of Chicago Public Square’s email deadline, drawn contributions from more than 2,000 supporters.
The hunt’s on for volunteers to help rebuild businesses trashed.

The worst of it. Real estate executives survey the damage weekend mayhem wrought on Chicago.
Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg reflects on destruction in the Loop: “Seeing downtown looted is oddly personal; I know these places.”

Trump’s bunker hunker. As protesters massed outside the White House, President Trump took shelter in a space designed for use in terrorist attacks.

Washington Post D.C. bureau chief Philip Rucker: “Trump stayed safely ensconced inside and had nothing to say, besides tweeting fuel on the fire.” (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
The Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet mourns “Trump making a horrific situation worse.”

‘Do their lives seem to matter much, even to themselves?’ Steinberg addresses those trashing the city.
The Tribune’s Dahleen Glanton: “Too many white people are satisfied doing nothing to bring about substantive change.”
Among protesters arrested in New York on charges of “unlawful assembly”: Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daughter.
The Onion: Protestors Criticized For Looting Businesses Without Forming Private Equity Firm First.”

The CTA’s back. After a shutdown driven by the weekend violence, mass transit services were restored in Chicago today—partly.
With cop cars a target for vandals, police have been taking CTA buses to the scenes of crimes.

May’s crime stats will be delayed. Because Chicago needs extra time to tally mayhem from the city’s most violent weekend of the year—and Sunday was worse than Saturday.
But it brought at least one peaceful protest to the city.

‘A country on the verge of war.’ Vox’s Ezra Klein: “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared.”
The Washington Post’s editorial page editor exhorts Republican senators: “Announce you are voting for Biden, and help save your country.”

Bullshit detected. PolitiFact debunks a conspiracy theory that George Floyd’s death under the knee of a Minneapolis cop was a hoax.
New York’s Jonathan Chait: “The world around us, in which the streets of every major American city are filled with protesters, is the result of Trump granting the wishes of the most retrograde police officers.”
Barack Obama speaks out in a post to Medium: “If … we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation’s long journey to live up to our highest ideals. Let’s get to work.”

Chicago Public Square supports
the National Immigrant Justice Center.

Thanks to Johnnie Putman and Pam Spiegel for making this edition better.

Subscribe to Square.