G8 Move from Chicago Marks Month Full of Activist Achievements, Victories
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