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Chicago Indymedia

LOCAL Announcement :: Media

From The Trenches Radio for January: Voices of Protest against Controversial Ordinance

From The Trenches is the monthly radio program of the Chicago Independent Media Center.


We'll hear from Chicago press conferences featuring voices of protest speaking out against the draconian rewrite of Chicago's anti-protester laws.

* Plus, headlines from the worldwide Indymedia network.






From The Trenches airs on the 4th Sunday of each month at 6pm on WLUW 88.7 on Chicago northside radio:

From The Trenches also airs on the immediately subsequent Thursday at 1pm on WHPK 88.5 on Chicago southside radio:


Irish Police Officer Who Was Recorded Making A Rape Threat Awarded €33,000 in defamation case
Ireland Indymedia reported developments of an Irish police officer who was recorded making a rape threat, but who nevertheless won an unrelated defamation court case against an environmental activist. On December 9, 2011, Sergeant James Gill was awarded €33,000 plus legal costs in a case against Pat O'Donnell, an activist with the Shell to Sea campaign working to stop a natural gas pipeline being built through a County Mayo parish which would put residents near the pipeline at risk. O'Donnell accused Sergeant Gill of stealing fuel and tires at a 2006 protest. Gill is also the same officer who, as previously reported on From The Trenches, was recorded making a rape threat in March 2011 against two female environmental activists — "Give me your name and address or I'll rape you". Gill feigned ignorance in court of the threat upon being cross-examined, and attempts to further pursue the line of questioning by prosecutors were blocked off by the judge.

New York Activists Confront Tennis Star John McEnroe over Illegal Land Development
New York City Indymedia featured a protest over an illegal land development, held at a gala dinner for a liberal political magazine and honoring a professional tennis player. On December 5th, environmental activists from East Harlem, the Bronx, and other parts of New York City protested a dinner at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan, organized by The Nation magazine. The dinner honored tennis star John McEnroe, who, quoting from the feature, "has lent his name to Sportime Corporation, which in 2010 illegally (without land use review) acquired a large portion of public park land [at Randall's Island in New York] that had been used by East Harlem and South Bronx residents for over 50 years. McEnroe's Sportime Tennis Center now charges thousands of dollars to be a member of the private tennis club." About 30 opponents of the land seizure protested outside the gala dinner, hosted by Robert Redford and Barbara Streisand with a minimum entry cost of $500 per seat. The seizure was headed for an expansion until a committee hearing on December 18th to review the expansion was abruptly cancelled due to pressure from outside activists.

Plymouth, Massachusetts Hosts Native American Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving 2011
Boston Indymedia featured photos, video, and a written report documenting the 42nd annual National Native American Day of Mourning, held in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Thanksgiving Day 2011. Quoting from the feature: "Several hundred protesters from across the Americas participated, listening to Native speakers about the plight of Native peoples, then marching through downtown Plymouth. Plymouth was the supposed location of the first "Thanksgiving" in the 1620s." The Day of Mourning began as an annual tradition in 1970 when a man with the Aquinnah Wampanoag nation named Wamsutta was invited to speak at a banquet, though the banquet's organizers rejected the speech Wamsutta planned to give. Wamsutta in response helped organize the first National Day of Mourning in Plymouth, which has been held in Plymouth every year ever since.

Occupy Wall Street Actions crisscross the world, expand efforts
The worldwide Indymedia network has been reporting on actions from the growing Occupy Wall Street movement, which includes the following headlines: Brazil Indymedia featured an intense day of activities organized by Occupy Rio held on December 17. In the UK, Occupy Belfast seized the vacant building of the Bank of Ireland in Belfast city centre, Northern Ireland, doing so, according to a statement, "in opposition to soaring homelessness, lack of affordable social housing and home repossessions…Banks take our houses so we take their buildings. This is a repossession for the community!" In Olympia, Washington, the physical camp of Occupy Olympia faced eviction from Olympia police; likewise, Occupy Bellingham in Bellingham, Washington was raided on December 28, by police in riot gear, with four arrested. In Santa Cruz, California, the Occupy Santa Cruz encampment was raided by police on December 9th; supporters held a noise demonstration and rally outside the Santa Cruz County Jail in solidarity with arrestees, who faced unusually high bail fees. Members of Occupy Atlanta joined local labor organizers to stage a "mic check" at an Atlanta Home Depot on November 17, highlighting Home Depot's history against organized labor. And on December 7th, Occupy DC along with union activists swarmed downtown K Street, a hub of corporate lobbyists, shutting it down for hours; 62 activists were arrested. On January 17th, some 2000 participants with Occupy Congress seized the steps of the Supreme Court building in Washington DC, with one report saying some reached the building doors, but no reports of anyone getting inside.

Charges against Chicago activist Pat Hunt dropped; city attorney admits arrest "just practice for G8/NATO"
Chicago Indymedia featured the story of an activist who was arrested and harassed by police during a recent protest. Quoting from the feature: "On October 8, 2011, Chicago activist Pat Hunt was arrested over two alleged ordinance violations during the Chicago grassroots protest over the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. On December 6, 2011, the City of Chicago dropped charges against Hunt. Attorney Jeff Frank said that the violations were simply a cover for harassing protesters, and Hunt was targeted because she was the signatory of the protest permit application. Indeed, an attorney with the city even admitted: "You know, this is just practice for NATO/G8", referring to the combined NATO and G8 summits coming to Chicago in May 2012. More information about popular protest efforts against those summits, including resisting a draconian anti-protest ordinance over expected NATO/G8 protests, will be heard later in the show.

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