Vandals target offices of South Side community group for fourth time

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An office of a South Side community group was broken into over the weekend - the fourth time the group's two offices have been vandalized in the last few months.

On Tuesday, leaders of the Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) gathered outside their Woodlawn neighborhood offices at 602 East 61st Street to announce that they will not be intimidated.

"They are trying to intimidate us, but we will not be intimidated we are going to continue to fight for the community, we aren't going anywhere," said Diane Adams, a STOP board member.

The office's rear door of the 61st Street office was damaged between Friday and Monday. Previously, the rear door frame was broken and items were taken, according to police.

Photos provided by the group show glass strewn on the floor after bricks were thrown windows and at the organization's vehicle's windows. Office papers were thrown around and desk drawers were emptied of their contents.

STOP partners with other community organizations to give area residents a voice in neighborhood planning decisions.

Currently, the group is campaigning for a community benefits agreement around the Barack Obama Presidential Center. It previously lobbied to bring a trauma center to the South Side and stop the closure of the city's mental health clinics.

Leaders said they are open to hearing from people with opposing viewpoints, but ask the vandals to stop targeting their facilities.

Neighboring buildings and vehicles have not been targeted, so STOP believes these break-ins are politically motivated and executed by people who want to silence the group.
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