The two faces of NATO: PR spin versus video reality
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.
“Everything was fine until riot police kettled protesters and created chaos,” wrote Kugler in his Substance account. Read the rest of this entry →