Fwd: [vfp-all] Fwd: [massaction-boston] Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Denies Civil Liberties in run up to NATO/G8 Summit
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From: Robert Wessel <bobawes@...>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2012 14:46:46 -0600
Subject: Fwd: [vfp-all] Fwd: [massaction-boston] Chicago Mayor Rahm
Emanuel Denies Civil Liberties in run up to NATO/G8 Summit
To: Allan Marty <AEMPMARTY@...>, Achille Biagi
<biagihome@...>, Sharon Askins <shar4car@...>, Barbara &
Gordon Jones <francofunn@...>, John Blair
<ecoserve@...>, bsheilman@..., Clark Field Field
<fieldandserr@...>, Dale oberbeck oberbeck
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O'Leary O'Leary <harpcat60@...>, Bruce Hatfield
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MTSREADER@..., Tony Schmitt Schmitt <mfdolman@...>,
srode@..., Suzanne Oberbeck <suzro3@...>
Begin forwarded message: Is this SOB really a Democrat, or
progressive? HELL NO!!!!!!!!!
> From: Nate Goldshlag <nateg@...>￼
> Date: January 11, 2012 8:58:02 PM CST
> To: vfpaction <vfpaction@...>, vfpchaptercontacts <vfp-
> email@example.com>, vfpall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: [vfp-all] Fwd: [massaction-boston] Chicago Mayor Rahm
> Emanuel Denies Civil Liberties in run up to NATO/G8 Summit
> Begin forwarded message:
>> Welcome to the civil-liberties-free zone
>> Rahm Emanuel's clampdown on civil liberties goes beyond his goal
>> of silencing opposition to next May's gathering of the global 1
>> percent, says Shaun Harkin.
>> January 9, 2012
>> Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (Kevin Gebhardt)--
>> CHICAGO MAYOR Rahm Emanuel wants to set up his own personal police
>> state to accommodate the warmongers and budget-slashers who will
>> attend a conference of the global 1 percent in Chicago in May.
>> Emanuel is giddy about the "opportunity" to host simultaneous
>> gatherings of the U.S.-dominated NATO military alliance and the
>> Group of Eight (G8) club of powerful industrial nations also
>> dominated by the U.S., set for May 19-21. The last time both
>> entities met together was in 1977 in London.
>> "From a city perspective, this will be an opportunity to showcase
>> what is great about the greatest city in the greatest country,"
>> said Emanuel. "It's an opportunity for the city of Chicago
>> economically, but also a message internationally about why Chicago
>> is a city that's on the move, and if you're thinking of investing,
>> Chicago is a place to invest."
>> Meanwhile, civil liberties will become a scarce commodity.
>> In December, Emanuel introduced a package of proposed ordinances,
>> to be voted on by the Chicago City Council, that demand
>> dramatically higher fines for anyone arrested during the summits,
>> more surveillance cameras and the daily closure of city parks and
>> playgrounds until 6 a.m.
>> The ordinances would also increase minimum fines from $25 to $250
>> for anyone found "resisting arrest"--and the law is careful to
>> specify that "passively" resisting, such as going limp in classic
>> civil-disobedience style, is also included. Maximum fines would
>> increase from $500 to $1,000, and in some cases to $2,000.
>> The spineless Chicago City Council--which recently rubberstamped
>> Emanuel's job-busting and social-services-slashing budget with a
>> 50-0 vote--is set to vote on the ordinances on January 18.
>> The new ordinances would also empower Chicago Police
>> Superintendent Garry McCarthy to "deputize law enforcement
>> personnel"; make cooperative agreements with a host of state,
>> federal and local law enforcement agencies; and forge agreements
>> with "public or private entities concerning placement,
>> installation, maintenance or use of video, audio
>> telecommunications, or other similar equipment."
>> This last measure would buttress the city's existing "Big Brother"
>> surveillance network, augmenting more than 10,000 public and
>> private surveillance cameras--the most extensive and integrated
>> system in the nation, according to experts.
>> Emanuel's proposals are also clearly intended to "neutralize" any
>> number of other potential headaches. For one, Emanuel wants to set
>> up new hurdles for Occupy Chicago, which has plans for a spring
>> mobilization in early April. In the fall, Emanuel ordered mass
>> arrests that successfully thwarted Occupy Chicago's repeated
>> efforts to establish an encampment in a public space.
>> But Emanuel is also faced with growing protests among teachers,
>> nurses and community activists faced with school closures, and
>> cuts to city mental health services and other programs.
>> According to the Chicago Reporter, "Police Superintendent Garry
>> McCarthy said the department is treating the Occupy Chicago
>> protests as a bit of a dry run, and they've considered the way
>> they've dealt with protesters so far to be a success."
>> From the first announcement that the joint summits would be held
>> in Chicago, there has also been a systematic media campaign to
>> smear social justice protesters as hell-bent on "violence" and
>> "destruction." In particular, the Chicago Sun-Times ran
>> sensational front-page articles featuring burning buildings and
>> confrontational scenes.
>> Emanuel wants to use a media-generated hysteria to justify the
>> massive security operation and discourage wider participation in
>> the protests.
>> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>> SPENDING TENS of millions of dollars on security and feasts for
>> powerful politicians and officials who oversaw the wars in
>> Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, or who imposed austerity across the
>> world will be hard for many people to stomach.
>> This is especially true in a city where the mayor has forced
>> through layoffs of librarians, the closure of desperately needed
>> mental-health clinics and schools, and other cuts to the city's
>> already battered social safety net. And Emanuel is planning for
>> more, with massive concessions demanded from Chicago teachers and
>> transit workers.
>> But despite the intimidation and demonization, networks of Chicago-
>> based and national activists have been organizing since August to
>> challenge the twin entities of the G8 and NATO, as well as the
>> assault on civil liberties.
>> Mass protests, a People's Summit and many other events and actions
>> are being planned by students, trade unionists, antiwar
>> organizers, faith-based activists, Occupiers, anti-eviction
>> activists and many others. These groups have joined forces to say
>> no to the NATO/G8 agenda, and to put forward an alternative based
>> on equality, democracy and solidarity.
>> But as far as Emanuel is concerned, this runs contrary to his own
>> plans to host an event that caters to the interests of the city's
>> corporate elite--and those of his former boss, President Barack
>> Obama, who Emanuel served as White House chief of staff until he
>> left in October 2010 to run for mayor.
>> By mid-May, the 2012 presidential election will be in full swing,
>> and Democrats are hoping that Obama's prospects for reelection
>> will be enhanced by playing a central role in the summits.
>> According to an anonymous administration official, the NATO/G8
>> meetings offer Obama "with the opportunity to continue his
>> leadership of our most important security alliance, to fulfill
>> commitments made by allied leaders in Lisbon in November 2010, and
>> to sustain our joint work to revitalize NATO to prepare it to
>> effectively meet challenges of the 21st century."
>> The White House thus hopes to use the Chicago summit to reassert
>> the global role of the U.S. in both economic and military terms.
>> Officials will tout what they consider the Obama administration's
>> foreign policy achievements, including support for regime change
>> in Libya and ending the war in Iraq. Economically, the summit
>> presents the U.S. with a bully pulpit to lecture Europe on how to
>> avoid an imposion of the eurozone economy that would drag down the
>> world economy.
>> Pivotal, too, for the U.S. is the exclusion of China--the clear
>> rival to the U.S. in coming decades, economically and politically--
>> from both bodies.
>> Though there are fears that its economic growth will slow in the
>> next couple of years, China now has more billionaires than any
>> other country except the U.S., along with $2 trillion in foreign
>> assets--while the U.S. has $2.5 trillion in net debts. China is
>> the world's leading manufacturer and looks set to become the
>> world's primary importer by 2014--a massive turnaround from 2000
>> when U.S. imports were six times China's, according to the Economist.
>> China's growth, the economic crisis and the quagmire in Iraq and
>> Afghanistan have combined to exacerbate the sense of anxiety among
>> U.S. policymakers and the broader public about "American decline."
>> A Pew Global Attitudes Survey captures this statistically: when
>> asked which country is the world's leading economic power, 43
>> percent of Americans answered China, while only 38 percent believe
>> the U.S. is still number one.
>> So what could be better for the U.S. and President Obama than a
>> global platform staged in Chicago to present their message about
>> what needs to be done.
>> But here's what they don't say: The global 1 percent have become
>> even richer in recent years, and they want to stop anything that
>> might disrupt the growth of their staggering vast wealth. So elite
>> will gather to justify austerity for the purpose of stabilizing
>> world capitalism, defend the concentration of wealth and power
>> among the tiny few--and pay lip service to reducing hunger,
>> climate change and inequality.
>> Writing from Kabul in Afghanistan, veteran peace campaigner Kathy
>> Kelly captured the disconnect between those who embrace the G8 and
>> NATO and those who feel the brunt of its dictates:
>> Hillary Clinton, President Obama, former war-hawk representative
>> Emanuel and other undisputed militarists in government seem to see
>> Chicago as a city obsessed with power, a city determined above all
>> to be tough and strong. Carl Sandburg famously depicted Chicago as
>> the city of big shoulders, and it often seems too easy for
>> political leaders and generals to confuse the strength involved in
>> shouldering shared burdens with the very different kind of
>> "toughness" that drives a fist or a nightstick.
>> NATO/G8 summits have been met with protests wherever they have
>> been held. In 2001, at the height of the global justice movement,
>> hundreds of thousands demonstrated in Genoa, Italy, to show their
>> opposition to G8 policies. With this in mind, Chicago's mayor is
>> ready to go to any length to protect the architects of war and
>> global inequality.
>> But his efforts aren't going unnoticed. John Kass, a conservative
>> Chicago Tribunecolumnist, criticized Emanuel's "ruthless amassing
>> of new powers" by comparing him to a Roman dictator:
>> [T]here seems to be a new, imperial Rahm on the horizon: Emperor
>> Rahmulus. Rahmulus wants more power over police, so that his
>> police chief may immediately deputize members of other law
>> enforcement agencies should Rahmulus decree. This means he might
>> be able to deputize the Melrose Park cops--perhaps even the
>> Melrose Park Fire Department--if he feels the need.
>> And he wants more control over contracts, transforming the already-
>> neutered Chicago City Council from eunuchs to ghosts. "I'm doing
>> what is appropriate for a unique event with a unique attention to
>> the city," Emanuel told reporters last week. "We'll do it to make
>> sure we have an orderly process. This is not a big deal. This is a
>> one-time event...This is temporary, and this is just for this
>> Oh, sure. It's just temporary. The last guy who said new powers
>> were only temporary was Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars saga...
>> In fact, Emanuel's dispatch of the City Council is only a means to
>> an end, says Kass:
>> The mayor will have sweeping contract powers to take care of this
>> one and that one because he feels like it, with little if any
>> legislative oversight. And that befits a political system where
>> "democracy" is largely symbolic, as it was in Albania for most of
>> the last century.
>> So we'll have heads of state gathering in Chicago to nibble hors
>> d'oeuvres with Rahm's business friends, and they'll make contacts
>> and deals and more business. Taxpayers will pick up much of the
>> cost. The suits will praise President Barack Obama's Chicago. And
>> if history is our guide, then young protesters will be dragged
>> away, their heads bouncing along the curbs.
>> Kass' assessment is on the money. In fact, Emanuel has
>> acknowledged that he has no intention of making "temporary" any of
>> the measures designed to clamp down on civil liberties.
>> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>> TO FUND the massive security operation, Emanuel was handed a $54.6
>> million grant by his friends in the federal government. The
>> mayor's office won't say how much it wants to raise in addition to
>> this federal funding, or how it will spend any contributions, but
>> it has tapped seasoned corporate networkers, including former Sara
>> Lee Corp. CEO John Bryan, to lead the effort.
>> Within corporate and political circles, Emanuel's fundraising
>> skills are seen as legendary. According to reporter Shia Kapos:
>> Before he headed out of town for the holidays, Mayor Rahm Emanuel
>> tied up a loose end of business. He secured a $2 million
>> sponsorship donation for the upcoming NATO and G8 summits, which
>> will land in Chicago in mid-May. Add that to the $50 million or so
>> already in the bank.
>> Yep, the latest infusion should put to rest any question of
>> whether businesses want their names attached to an event that
>> draws protests. Christie Hefner, the former Playboy Enterprises
>> Inc. CEO who now serves as executive chairman of Tucson, Ariz.-
>> based Canyon Ranch Enterprises Inc., said as much at a recent
>> Executives' Club of Chicago meeting.
>> The media's collaboration in the whole spectacle of trumpeting the
>> summit while demonizing protesters shouldn't come as a surprise--
>> especially at the Sun-Times, whose board has a longstanding
>> relationship with the city's new boss. According toCrain's Chicago
>> Business reporter Greg Hinz:
>> At least eight of the 12 board members of the new company [that
>> owns the Sun-Times], Wrapports LLC, have donated to Mr. Emanuel's
>> campaign fund in the past year, collectively plunking down
>> $241,000 that I found in a quick survey of Board of Elections
>> disclosures. Included: $25,000 from the Sun-Times' new chairman,
>> Michael Ferro Jr., and $105,000 from Mr. Emanuel's frequent
>> visitor at City Hall, Grosvenor Capital Management L.P. chief
>> Michael Sacks.
>> City officials have made organizing extremely difficult by
>> stalling on repeated attempts to discuss march and rally permits.
>> However, NATO/G8 activists have joined with Occupy Chicago to
>> "Occupy City Hall" and other actions to demand the right to
>> protest and other basic civil liberties.
>> Persistence is paying off. The Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and
>> Poverty Agendacelebrated a victory when City Hall was forced to
>> backtrack on denying permits for Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago.
>> MB Real Estate, the company managing Daley Plaza for the city, had
>> earlier announced it would not be issuing any permits during May
>> 15-22, but more recently, the city's Public Building Commission
>> wrote to the American Civil Liberties Union to say that "Daley
>> Plaza will be open to public assembly and public activity" during
>> the summits.
>> In the coming weeks and months, the struggle to defend the right
>> to assemble and protest will be crucial. In the next week, for
>> example, Chicago unions, religious groups, Occupy activists and
>> students will be spearheading a campaign to get Chicago aldermen
>> to vote against Emanuel's proposed ordinances when they come to a
>> vote in the City Council on January 18.
>> We should do everything we can to mobilize those from near and far
>> who want to show the representatives of the global 1 percent that
>> they and their policies are not welcome in Chicago--or anywhere.
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> Nate Goldshlag nateg at pobox.com (replace at with @)
> Arlington, MA http://veteransforpeace.org
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