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Photos: Logan Square 'Witches' Put A Hex On Rahm And Local 'Slumlords'

By Rachel Cromidas in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 8, 2016 5:51PM

Three women whose affordable housing activism resembles both performance art and paganism led a ritual "action" in Logan Square Saturday afternoon to put a hex on Mayor Rahm Emanuel and so-called slumlords, and a "protective spell" on the Northwest Side.

The women, collectively known as WITCH, told Chicagoist their goal was to raise awareness about the lack of affordable housing in Logan Square and the ongoing problem of gentrification, while evoking the work of other women who have mixed ritual, art and protest. They've faced a mix of support and criticism online from some who thought the process sounded disrespectful of Paganism and communities being displaced by rising rents. According to Jessica Caponigro, one of the members of WITCH, the struggle to find affordable housing has touched each of the members personally.

Nonetheless, a group of at least several dozen onlookers joined WITCH near the Logan Square CTA Blue Line station Saturday at noon to watch them perform the ritual. The action involved lighting candles, drawing a circle on the ground, and reading a rhyming hex and protection spell written in Spanish and English that singles out Rahm and Mark Fischer, a Chicago realtor, which may or may not ever reach their ears. They also posted fliers describing others' experiences with gentrification.

The hex and spell:

Rahm, Mar Fischer, and slumlords the same,
Your predatory practices are a shame.
You benefit from inequality, it's agreed.
Let's banish the curse of their toxic greed.

Affordable housing is a basic need.
Let it not be affected by greed.
We can create a city that has homes for all;
A neighborhood protected from this poison from wall to wall.