12th Street Players | Cicero Gang
12th Street Players
The 12th Street Players were a formed in the late 1960s in Cicero, Il., on the corners of Roosevelt Road and Austin Avenue. They were comprised mostly of Italian-Americans, and later, Slavic-Americans. Territory extended from Roosevelt Road to the North, to 16th Street on the South and Cicero Avenue on the East.
12th Street Player Mural
Although they originated from Roosevelt and Austin, the club had expanded into a number of different territorial areas. The early 80's saw the Players spread into Berwyn ( Freedom Park at 37th and East Ave), and in the mid-to-late 80s, into Lyons, Brookfield, Lagrange and Countryside. The Countryside crew, started in 1987, was the only People gang being represented in the area, excluding the Latin Kings from Lenzi Ave,Hodgkins, Illinois. The primary focus of the Players in Brookfield, Lagrange, and Countryside was the contention with overwhelming Folks Alliance member gangs; 2-6 (now Gangsta 2-6), 2-2 Boys, Black Gangster Disciples (now Gangsta Disciples), and a few Simon City Royals. 1990 saw the set close, with members moving away, or showing their American pride prevalent among all Stoned Greaser gangs; joining the U.S. Military.
Extreme warfare between the 12th Street Players and various Folk gangs and former allies, the Latin Kings, and Latin Counts in the Grant Works and The Island (Roosevelt Rd. and Austin Ave.) sections of Cicero, and police pressure, caused the 12th Street Players to abandon their original corners in the early 1990s.
By the mid-1990s, the 12th Street Players made a comeback, setting up a new headquarters in the Clearing District of Chicago. The 12th Street Players are the only gang in the history of Chicago to make such a comeback, mostly in part to leader Jake Lane who was later indicted on weapons charges.
The 1990s were a very turbulent time for the Alliances, and tested loyalties to race, set, and neighborhoods. The 12th Street Players were not immune. As with the other white clubs within the City of Chicago and suburbs, the 12th Street Players were feeling the pressure of mass immigration into their neighborhoods. As many of the Greaser clubs from the 1950s and 1960's were formed to protect their neighborhoods, the Latino population kept growing, with inevitable circumstances. The Latin Kings, with their cousins the Latin Counts, began to heavily recruit in the once exclusively white suburb of Cicero, Il.. They found no lack of recruits, as the demographics of the near West suburb were shifting to a largely Latino population, much to the dismay of the Folk gangs present, and even to "allies" such as the 12th Street Players, and the Noble Knights. The battles over territory were inevitable, and the one-time allies were now bitter enemies. With the lack of recruits, and overpowered by sheer numbers, the Players eventually gave up their original stronghold on Roosevelt Road and Austin Ave.
12th Street Players Card and Symbols
Signs and Symbols
The group's colors are black and white, and their symbols are a 5-point star and a Playboy bunny. The Player symbol, the bunny, should not be confused with the bunny used by Gangsta 2-6, which has one ear bent in the middle.