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Fwd: [vfp-all] Fwd: [massaction-boston] Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Denies Civil Liberties in run up to NATO/G8 Summit

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  • Clark Field
    ... From: Robert Wessel Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2012 14:46:46 -0600 Subject: Fwd: [vfp-all] Fwd: [massaction-boston] Chicago Mayor Rahm
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 13, 2012
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      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      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
      <daleoberbeck@...>, Ed Wessel <ebwessel@...>,
      gtmoor@..., Gary Manley <gdmanley@...>, John Michael
      O'Leary O'Leary <harpcat60@...>, Bruce Hatfield
      <delsol1@...>, kenback@..., lipinczyk@...,
      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-
      > chaptercontacts@yahoogroups.com>, vfpall <vfp-all@yahoogroups.com>
      > Subject: [vfp-all] Fwd: [massaction-boston] Chicago Mayor Rahm
      > Emanuel Denies Civil Liberties in run up to NATO/G8 Summit
      > Begin forwarded message:
      >> http://socialistworker.org/2012/01/09/civil-liberties-free-zone-in-
      >> chicago
      >> 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
      >> conference."
      >> 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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