Mayor 1% blinks:
City restores nurses' NATO protest permit
In a stunning display of the power of popular outrage, the City of Chicago has reversed its revocation of the protest permit for National Nurses United. The group received permission from the City months ago to stage a mass rally for economic justice on the eve of the NATO summit, only to have that permit suddenly cancelled earlier this week. Today, the City blinked, reversing the move to try to kettle the nurses in Grant Park far from the planned Daley Plaza rally site -- after the nurses and their supporters refused to back down. The nurses publicly praised musical headliner Tom Morello and public support for helping to pressure the City to back down. Read more.
NATO - Be the media this May in Chicago:
A call-out to progressive civilian journalists
An open call to grassroots reporters: This May, the military, financial and political leaders of NATO and their spinmasters will meet in Chicago. Protesters are coming, too, to oppose NATO’s military agenda and the political and economic agendas of their paymasters. Chicago politicians and national security forces are gearing up to suppress those protests -- an ugly parallel to the lethal suppression of popular will in countries subjected to NATO bombing, occupation and repression. And dollars to donuts, the corporate press will get the story wrong -- and fail to cover the reasons people are coming out to protest.
That's where you come in. Progressive grassroots and civilian journalists -- like you -- will be there, as well, to cover the protests and the larger economic, social and environmental issues that drive opposition to NATO militarism. That’s why Chicago Indymedia is partnering with local and national progressive media makers -- livestreamers, bloggers, print and radio reporters, videographers, photographers and more -- to host the Chicago Independent Media Convergence Center -- CIMCC. Find out how you can get involved -- and how we can support you. Read more.
- Check out our NATO Fact Sheet, a resource for streamers, civilian journalists and independent reporters.
- Help us bankroll equipment -- make a donation! Click here -- and be sure to put in CIMC in the ‘designation’ line.
A church in the shadow of McCormick Place takes a stand for peace and civil liberties
Chicago – Rev. Errol Narain and the congregation of Trinity Episcopal Church are extending open arms to protestors who will be marching against NATO this month. The church, located at 125 E. 26th Street, is the closest congregation to McCormick Place – literally in the shadow of the NATO summit.
Trinity Episcopal has invited protestors arriving from outside Chicago to camp on their lawn during the weekend of May 19th – 21st. To prepare the neighbors for the sight of protestors sleeping in tents on the lawn of the church, the congregation will co-host a Town Hall meeting with the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANG8) Thursday, May 3rd, from 7 – 9 pm. Read more.
- Check out Trinity's announcement of this Thursday's forum here.
Chicago, May 1: May Day actions!
Call in sick and hit the steets: People from across the metro area are kicking off spring actions on May Day, Tuesday, May 1, International Workers' Day, starting with a convergence at LaSalle and Jackson at 10AM to challenge the financial district banksters who line their pockets at the expense of the rest of us. At noon, dozens of groups are mobilizing at Union Park on Chicago's west side to march on the Federal Plaza to demand rights and dignity for immigrants, working class people and the dispossessed eveywhere. Be there! Learn more here.
In a stunning move, the G8 -- which was slated to hold its 2012 summit in Chicago -- abruptly announced on March 5th that the G8 would instead convene in the exclusive presidential retreat of Camp David, Maryland. The official stated reason is that the G8 sought a "more casual backdrop", though activists have claimed victory for pressuring the move. If so, then it might be the capstone of a month full of dramatic actions and wins for grassroots Chicago activists.
Coal Power Plants To Close: Midwest Generation announced on February 29th that it will shut down the Fisk and Crawford power plants, on Chicago's southwest side, by 2014. The announcement marks a win for Chicago environmental activists, who struggled mightily for years to highlight local health and environmental problems brought by the plants. See past CITV coverage here and here.
Republic Occupation, Take Two: From the newswire - "50 workers are staging an occupation of Serious Materials, the same Goose Island factory made famous in 2008 when it was owned by Republic Windows and Doors...This morning (Thursday, February 23, 2012), Serious Energy informed the workers that their window factory in Chicago would close effective today. The company said there is no longer manufacturing taking place and they plan to dismantle production immediately. Workers demanded a chance to save these jobs and find a buyer or purchase the factory themselves and start a worker-run enterprise. Serious Energy refused. That same day workers voted to once again occupy their factory to win justice and jobs." But the occupation ended in under a day - "The worker occupation of Serious Energy has ended and an agreement has been reached to keep the plant in operation for 90 days while union members and the company work together to find new ownership to keep the plant open. After 12 hours the occupation has ended with a hopeful workforce." Also, see this video from Labor Beat.
Sit-ins at DePaul and Piccolo: Students at DePaul University on March 2nd occupied the campus student center to call against tuition raises. Also, parents and students [occupied] the Piccolo Elementary School building on February 18th to oppose CPS plans to privatize the school. Occupy Chicago and other allies set up an encampment outside the building in solidarity. Read the Piccolo Occupation declaration
Attorneys representing some 700 arrestees and detainees in the famed March 20, 2003 antiwar protest on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive announced that they have won a multi-million dollar settlement with the City of Chicago over the illegal crackdown of that protest by the Chicago Police that night.
It is a win nearly nine years in the making -- first to get all charges against Chicago peace protesters dismissed, then to wait three years before achieving class certification of the lawsuit (Vodak v. City of Chicago), then to fend off a spurious police countersuit, then to appeal a summary judgment in 2010 dismissing the lawsuit altogether, finally winning an appeal in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the protesters' rights and restoring the suit.
The city has agreed to compensate all arrestees and detainees a total of $6.2 million, divided to members of the class based on the degree of police repression faced, with some class members winning up to $15,000. This settlement represents not only a financial win for protesters and members of the public but the intermediate rulings in the case affirm the rights of public protesters amidst open police crackdowns -- a development expected to help activists planning to protest the NATO / G8 summits in Chicago in May 2012.
On January 18, 2012, by a vote of 45-5, the Chicago City Council approved a controversial ordinance for Chicago public protests in anticipation of protests against the NATO/G8 summit in Chicago in May 2012. Only two mild provisions of the ordinance were removed at the behest of activist outcry, but the vast majority of the draconian rewrite of existing rules is now local law. Provisions include raising of fines of violations, heightening insurance and registration requirements, imposing severe restrictions on sidewalk actions, and redefining "resisting arrest". Read more.
Meanwhile, Adbusters magazine, undeterred by these local developments, has announced a call "In the Tradition of the Chicago 7" to "#OccupyChicago, May 1 -- Bring Tent". Adbusters was the originator of the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City that swiftly grew to become the worldwide Occupy movement, and their callout for an apparent month-long series of Chicago actions echoes the original announcement of Occupy Wall Street. Read more.