Published on Aug 19, 2012 by YaBasta5000
US Activists Confront NATO War Machine
Chicago Summit 2012
Published on Aug 19, 2012 by YaBasta5000
US Activists Confront NATO War Machine
Chicago Summit 2012
Six months after police violently evicted peaceful protestors from Occupy camps across the US, activists now see a program of local engagement and international coordination as central to advancing their movement.
Global economic and political systems continue to be delegitimised in the eyes of many, as communities are squeezed by the ongoing manifestations of the global financial crisis. While mainstream political forces attempt to absorb and deflect citizens’ dissatisfaction, activists within popular protest movements, rather than merely venting anger, are beginning to offer alternatives to the status quo.
In 2012, the Arab Spring appears to have become mired in sectarian conflict, repression and infiltration by religious fundamentalists, but non-violent direct action remains an effective tactic for movements in other parts of the world. Recent national and regional elections in France, Greece and Germany, saw voters reject parties advocating a continuation of economic austerity policies that cut government spending and services in order to service national debt, while in Spain the Indignados returned to the streets in their tens of thousands.
In the United States, the Occupy movement consists of no central organisational structure but is composed of independent collectives in various cities covering a variety of issues. Read the rest of this entry →
by Michelle Hill – occupynewhampshire.org/2012/05/29/freedom-of-speech/
While at the first rally, the one sponsored by National Nurses United (the union which paid for the buses to get us to and from Chicago), I found my brand new phone didn’t work. I couldn’t get or receive texts or phone calls. So I asked one of the police officers why our phones were being blocked. He responded with “there are too many people trying to use their phones at once. No one is blocking them.” Frankly, I didn’t believe him. Later in the week I overheard two officers talking. One was saying how glad she was cellphones had been blocked. The other nodded his head. I believed this officer to be telling the truth.
Unfortunately, blocking cellphones became the norm.
By blocking cellphones live tweets weren’t sent, people couldn’t call one another, and there was a dearth of Facebook status updates. It seems to me by blocking our phones, the police (or whomever was the guilty party) curtailed Freedom of Speech since phones are no longer just for voice communications.
Speech is our most basic freedom. To curtail it, for any reason, is not only unconstitutional, it’s a sign of fascism. For city police to participate in such behavior is totally unacceptable. For any police to participate in the silencing of speech is totally unacceptable.
I wondered why my brand new phone didn’t work but others did. I saw cops and paramedics on their phones. I saw other Occupiers on their phones. So maybe the technology used worked only on new phones. I’m not that tech savvy so I can’t answer my own question. But what I can say is I felt stifled. I could not reach the woman I was supposed to meet so we never connected that day. I felt uninformed without my twitter updates. When the rally moved I couldn’t find where the climate people went because of the dearth of text messages. Read the rest of this entry →
Published on May 26, 2012 by natoindymedia
At the Chicago NATO Summit, after the rally off Cermak and Michigan, May 20th 2012. Police surrounded protesters and box off one group from the rest of the rally. Without any dispersal order, the police leading with batons and violence, started pressing thousands of protesters through a narrow exit. Towards the end of the video a independant journalist is attacked after filming police violence, his camera broken in the incident.
all day i’ve wanted to be left alone, yet needed to be around others.
i don’t remember how i ended up at the front of the lines.
the first anti-capitalist march i went on was proof enough that my instinct is to cut away, dart through the crowd, and get to the front as swiftly as possible to deescalate the situation as quickly as possible.
or at least be there to provide any services within the skill-set of an energy mosh-medic.
so i guess i arrived there on auto-pilot.
be aware, i did not panic through all of this.
when they (cpd) first started shoving us back, i felt confused and in danger.
my perception snapped into slow motion.
(though there remain some gaps in my memory of it all)
what i noticed in those first split seconds was the commanding officer stepping forward. walking down the line. assaulting every other protester in passing.
prepping the army. leading by example. Read the rest of this entry →
There are still dozens of people held in jail in Chicago after the NATO protests. In addition, the police bloodied upwards of 90 people on Sunday, according to the National Lawyers Guild’s Sarah Gelsamino.
For all the great work that the National Lawyers Guild does, raising bail is not something that they can legally do for their clients. That is up to individuals and organizations not legally representing the imprisoned.
An ad hoc group of CANG8 activists has announced a fundraiser at:
Carey’s Lounge, 2251 W. Devon Avenue,
Sunday night beginning at 8 PM
Suggested donation: $10 – no one turned away for inability to pay
An account has been set up with Wepay. To donate, go to: http://www.wepay.com/donations/nato-arrestee-bail-fund
All funds raised will go directly to those whom the Guild is able to identify as people who, as friends and family members, are trying to raise bail funds for their loved ones.
Growing body of videos and eyewitness accounts in wake of NATO summit exposes vast police violence to defend military arm of 1%. See videos below.
While the Obama and Emanuel administrations are congratulating themselves on a public relations coup, NATO protesters are documenting the wave of police violence unleashed on them in recent days — particularly Sunday, when protesters sought to exercise a right they thought they had but didn’t: to speak truth to power.
City and federal officials have doggedly stuck to the spin about a dangerous band of ‘anarchists’ who started trouble on Sunday. But it’s clear from the videos below — and dozens more that have begun to surface on the web — that the only thugs in black on May 20 were the police. And the police unloaded, narrowly missing 75-year-old peace protester Nan Wigmore, who was caught in the crush at the front line of the police violence.
The harrowing scenes in the first two videos below, shot by Substance News contributor John Kugler, show police hammering on protesters with billy clubs and their hands, feet and bodies. Protesters clearly shout “There’s nowhere to go!” as the police line wails on them to push them away from the intersection of Cermak and Michigan. The protesters’ goal? To take their opposition to NATO to the summit itself — a goal denied by the protest ‘permit’ which the City of Chicago and the Obama administration ultimately ‘granted.’ That permit failed to meet even the minimum request of some organizers to be within ‘site and sound’ of the government bureaucrats’ deliberations.
Chicagoan John Whitfield spoke with his neighbor, Substance News reporter and videographer John Kugler, who shot the video of the police assault — and was attacked himself by the police. Cops struck Kugler, who was wisely wearing a helmet, four times on the head; Kugler also lost a shoe in the assault.
Published on May 19, 2012 by natoindymedia
The first of three marches on Saturday focused attention on the closures of half of the city of Chicago’s neighborhood mental health clinics as 2-3 thousand people congregated in front of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home at 4228 N. Hermitage.
Around 3:30pm, Saturday, approximately 1,000 marchers gathered at Daley Plaza to protest the raid of a Bridgeport home and terrorism charges levied against three anti-NATO activists — a group dubbed the NATO 3, inspiring a currently trending campaign on twitter with the keyword #NATO3.
A third march, the Anti-Capitalist march, had been called to meet at the statue commemorating the international labor movement in Haymarket Square at Randolph and Desplaines on the Near West Side.
Several hundred people from the #NATO3 group marched to the South Loop, and in attempting to meet the “Anti-Capitalist” march at Haymarket were divided and redirected by the Chicago Police Department into several smaller groups. By the time the disparate marches converged near Randolph and Desplaines around 6:30pm, the police department had repeatedly stopped the marchers at intersections as the different groups attempted to reach each other, walking through the closed-off downtown streets in 90 degree heat.
One march headed west on Harrison Street over the south branch of the Chicago River, a second became kettled at State and Congress, while the third mustered at 175 N. Desplaines, and proceeded south towards the others. After converging near Madison and Jefferson, the larger gathering moved north, then east, to turn south onto State Street, when double lines of police on foot and bicycles again met, stopped, and kettled the crowd of approximately 1,500, arresting several, while using batons to beat several more. The crowd worked its way south on State Street, and as it neared Taylor, it was again hemmed in, and in response to some provocation (likely the rapid brandishing of metal batons by officers) the noise level in the crowd increased. Around ten people in the assembly were beaten.
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Chicago Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild
National Lawyers Guild Condemns Preemptive Police Raids & Unlawful Searches on the Streets
Early morning house raid in Bridgeport and harassment of activists indicates intolerance of free speech rights
NOTE: Press conference to be held TODAY (5-17-12) at 5:30pm at 3340 W. Fillmore Street, the Chicago Police Department’s Organized Crime Division
Chicago, IL — The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) condemns a preemptive police raid that took place at approximately 11:30pm Wednesday in the Bridgeport neighborhood, and instances of harassment on the street, in which Chicago police are unlawfully detaining, searching, and questioning NATO protesters. The Bridgeport raid was apparently conducted by the Organized Crime Division of the Chicago Police Department and resulted in as many as 8 arrests.
(today confirmed that 11 were arrested in this illegal and un-warranted raid, this morning the 18th we received news that 4 have been released without charges after being detained for over 24 hours.) Read the rest of this entry →
Beginning with the foreboding words, “NOT INTENDED FOR GENERAL DISTRIBUTION. FOR MEDIA GUIDANCE ONLY” CPD has begun prepping mainstream press for this weekend’s actions. While the entire PDF can be seen here (generally distributed, nonetheless): http://www.inba.net/userfiles/file/CPDgroundrules_051612.pdf, some important “Ground Rules” are clearly intended for independent journalists. Such as:
”…media access generally will be the same as public access. Credentials will, however, allow media personnel access to media-only areas. No “cutting” in and out of police lines will be permitted, or “going up against their backs.” Those who follow protesters onto private property to document their actions are also will be subject to arrest if laws are broken.”
”Any member of the media who is arrested will have to go through the same booking process as anyone else. Release of equipment depends on what part the equipment played in the events that led to the arrest.”
”…the Chicago Police Department does not intend to “break ground” in terms of enforcing the Illinois eavesdropping law. In short, police will not interfere if we videotape or record audio of police activities, including arrests.”
”Reporters who carry backpacks should be prepared to show their content to police. You may be asked to fire up and demonstrate any equipment that does not look familiar to officers.”
”It is the intent of Chicago Police to provide close access, with direct vision and contact with those entering and leaving events/marches/rallies. But police emphasized that those who choose to walk amid the protesters are “on your own.”
Leading dissident political analyst and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor of linguistics Noam Chomsky voiced his support for planned protests at the 18-21 May NATO summit in Chicago. Chomsky notes how–according to US and NATO propaganda and the logic of the Cold War–NATO should have disbanded with the Warsaw Pact in 1991. It’s continued existence and indeed, extension east to former Warsaw Pact countries, shows that NATO became an “international intervention force under U.S. command” with an “official commitment” to “defend the global energy system.” Prof. Chomsky winds up by noting that “a protest against NATO is in fact a protest against a vast military machine which of course has no counterpart anywhere and the prospect of endless war and destruction.” Finally, he encourages protestors to link up with the Free Bradley Manning Contingent in support of Manning, who allegedly leaked classified materials to Wikileaks in an action unparalleled since Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers.
For a full calendar of actions please visit the NATO Protest website.
See his full statement here:
WASHINGTON — The White House abruptly announced Monday that it had scuttled plans to hold the upcoming G-8 economic summit in Chicago, and would instead host world leaders at the presidential retreat at Camp David in Maryland.
It was an unusually late location change for a large and highly scripted international summit and came with little explanation from the White House. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel – the former White House chief of staff who personally lobbied President Barack Obama to hold the summit in Chicago – was informed only hours before the official announcement.
White House national security spokesman Tommy Vietor simply said that Camp David, the rustic retreat in the mountains of Maryland, was a setting that would allow for more intimate discussions among the G-8 leaders. He said security and the possibility of protests were not factors in the decision, noting that Obama would still host the NATO summit in his hometown of Chicago from May 20-21.
The White House said the G-8 summit would take place May 18-19. Read the rest of this entry →
by: Dave Johnson, Campaign for America’s Future | Op-Ed
Recent stories about the conditions of Apple’s contractors in China have opened many people’s eyes about where our jobs, factories, industries and economy have been going, and why. The stories exposed that workers live 6-to-12-to-a-room in dormitories, get rousted at midnight to work surprise 12-hour shifts, get paid very little, use toxic chemicals, suffer extreme pollution of the environment, etc. Is this “trade?” Or is it something else?
Is This “Trade?”
“Trade” means to exchange, to buy and sell, you buy from me and I buy from you. I have something you want and you have something I want, and we exchange. We both end up better off than where we started. Read the rest of this entry →
By Madison Ruppert Editor of End the Lie
In a major victory for Americans who value liberty and the First Amendment, a Cook County, Illinois judge ruled that the state’s highly controversial eavesdropping law is unconstitutional.
The law made the simple act of recording a police officer without their consent, even during the course of their public duties, a felony offense.
Judge Stanley Sacks declared that the eavesdropping law is unconstitutional on the grounds that it has the potential to criminalize what would otherwise be “wholly innocent conduct.” Read the rest of this entry →
By Madison Ruppert - Editor of End the Lie
An air raid carried out by NATO forces in the Tagab district of the eastern Kapisa province in Afghanistan resulted in at least three civilian deaths and four injuries.
The provincial council representative for the eastern Kapisa province stated that the air raid, conducted by French troops, resulted in two children being among the casualties, according to Khwaja Ghulam Mohammad Zmarai, the deputy provincial council for the Kapisa province, Khaama reports.
Zmarai stated that the French troops had received inaccurate intelligence from local residents as to the presence of suspected Taliban militants. Read the rest of this entry →
Paul Joseph Watson
Despite the mass hoax still being promulgated by both the mainstream media and local authorities across America, the First Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it is not illegal for citizens to videotape police officers when they are on public duty.
“The filming of government officials while on duty is protected by the First Amendment, said the Court,” reports Daily Tech.
“The filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities, fits comfortably within these principles [of protected First Amendment activity].,” said the Court. “Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting the free discussion of governmental affairs,” stated the ruling, adding that this has been the case all along, and that the right to film police officers is not just restricted to the press.
The case cited several examples where citizens were arrested for documenting acts of police brutality on recording devices, including that of Simon Glik, who was arrested after he filmed Boston police punching a man on the Boston Common.
Another case involved Khaliah Fitchette, a teenager who filmed police aggressively removing a man from a bus in Newark. Fitchette was arrested and detained for two hours before police deleted the video from her cellphone.
The court ruling also made it clear that bloggers who report news based on their recordings of police have equal protection under the law as journalists. Read the rest of this entry →
Could the Nato and G8 summits scheduled for May put Chicago at the crossroads of the next global uprising of the 99 percent?
Chicago’s G8/NATO organizing committee has landed on a slogan for the city as it hosts the twin summits this May: “The Global Crossroads.” This is certainly an appropriate moniker for a town built by immigrants, with its neighborhoods still bearing the names of the ethnic enclaves they once were: Ukranian Village, Greektown, Little Italy and Andersonville, to name a few. Recognizing the inherently global character of the Metropolis of the Midwest would be honorable, if that is what the organizers intended. However, when they say “global,” they are invoking the 1 percent sense of the word, as Don Welsh of the city’s Convention and Tourism Bureau makes clear: “To penetrate international markets takes time and money, and this is going to help us showcase to the international markets in a quick way.” It is the global markets that will cross paths as the world’s political and financial elite sets its agenda behind closed doors at McCormick Place.
Uploaded by RussiaToday on Feb 14, 2012
One of the most fundamental principles of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the principle of collective defense, wherein an armed attack on a NATO Ally constitutes an attack against all members of the alliance.
This concept could possibly be utilized by Turkey in the event of a large stream of refugees departing from Syria to Turkey in order for Ankara to call upon NATO to come to their defense under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.
This possibility was outlined in a recent article published in Turkey’s Sunday’s Zaman, in which it is said that the political will of NATO members will be the decisive factor in whether or not Article 5 is invoked in a situation where Turkey is not able to handle a refugee crisis without outside assistance.
With the repeated failed attempts to get a resolution on Syria through the United Nations Security Council – all of which have been blocked by China and Russia, the two countries which make up the most prominent opposition to the Western push to intervene in Syria – there is increasing speculation that Turkey and other NATO member states will intervene outside of the United Nations.
In three months, thousands of reporters from around the globe will descend on Chicago for the G-8 summit. Part of what they will chronicle is the protests and police crackdowns that have made each annual meeting so newsworthy. Sadly for all these reporters, and for all the American journalists with plans to film the protestors and cops, any effort to audiotape police activity on public streets or in parks is a crime in Illinois—a crime punishable by 15 years in prison.
Illinois, like Massachusetts and Oregon, is famous for having one of the most draconian eavesdropping laws in the country. The New York Times recently profiled two Illinois citizens who ran afoul of the law that makes it a Class 1 felony to audio record a law-enforcement officer, state’s attorney, assistant state’s attorney, attorney general, assistant attorney general or judge in the performance of his or her duties. It is a crime to use any device “for the purpose of hearing or recording all or any part of any conversation … unless [done] with the consent of all of the parties to such conversation or electronic communication. …”