Ahead of the overlapping G-8 and NATO summits in Chicago scheduled for May 19th-21st, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has ramped up the repression of principled dissent in a city that has quite the history of it. Just three months after closing down Occupy Chicago before it could even develop an overnight encampment, “Rahmbo” has introduced two new ordinances that would overhaul the city’s existing laws dealing with protests and parades. Dubbed by Occupy Chicago as the “Sit Down and Shut Up” ordinance, the measures include increased fines for resisting arrest, reduced opening hours for public parks, and much stricter parade regulations. Together, they appear to be an effort to stifle free speech under the guise of defending the public from unwieldy “anarchists.”
The mayor is keen to avoid adversity around meetings designed to elevate the status of a city long bent on shaking its “Second City” image. On the heels of Obama’s election in 2008, Chicago’s political establishment has sought to parlay electoral triumph into a watershed moment for the city’s economic elite. After a disastrously failed Olympics bid, these twin meetings present the best opportunity to “showcase our extraordinary city to the world,” as Emanuel puts it. However, if these measures are any indication, it may be Chicago’s shameful tradition of political repression that will be drawing all of the attention around the summits.
New Fines and Ordinances
One ordinance ups the minimum fine for resisting arrest from $25 to $200, while the other adds an array of inordinately burdensome filing requirements to the existing parade law. Examples of the new obligations in the second ordinance include a mandate that organizers account for all “recording equipment, sound amplification equipment, banners, signs, or other attention-getting devices to be used in connection with the parade” at least a week prior. Furthermore, organizers will be required to appoint one “parade marshal” for every one hundred participants. As such, the ordinance does not draw a distinction between festival parades and political marches, which is distressing given that it is virtually impossible to accurately predict the number of participants in the latter, let alone control who might show up with a banner or a bullhorn. Compliance with the stipulations of this ordinance will be virtually impossible, and, yet, violations will see minimum fines increase 20-fold from $50 to $1000.
The mayor initially described the changes as temporary measures designed to address the presumed influx of protesters from throughout the world, though organizers adeptly noticed that the ordinances’ language would suggest otherwise. In fact, the only temporary change is the stipulation regarding the related spending authority. When the inconsistency was raised to Emanuel in a Press Conference, he replied: “I misspoke, and I take responsibility for the confusion.” However, some protest organizers believe he made no “mistake,” and instead was intentionally being misleading. One organizer, Andy Thayer, told me: “This thing was permanent right from the start. He wanted to sneak it through like (the city’s parking meter privatization) by introducing it just before Christmas.” Thayer sees the rule changes as less about maintaining order during the meetings and more about silencing oppositional voices: “They are using this to harass people with messages that they don’t like.” He went on to describe this as a “thuggish” move on Emanuel’s part, reminiscent of the behavior of his predecessor, the second Richard Daley.
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Within hours of renowned climate scientists announcing a staggering milestone in carbon dioxide emissions, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn rolled out the booster wagons for Big Coal and celebrated his state's five-fold increase in record coal exports.
Gov. Quinn, once hailed by the Sierra Club as "the clear choice for Illinois voters who want to move to a clean energy economy and protect our drinking water and wild places," despite the fact that he had received huge contributions from the coal industry, declared:
"Illinois coal is in high demand overseas and we...
Jeff Biggers | Huffington Post 02 May 2013 Hits:172 Illinois
Whether she runs for governor or not, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan would need nine lives to bring the state's notoriously broken regulatory system into compliance with the nation's most reckless coal industry.
With state coal production soaring against national trends, Illinois cemented its reputation as the worst rogue state for coal operations last Friday, when the rubber-stamping operations of the state's EPA issued a pollutant discharge permit to a company already cited by the state for over 600 toxic discharge violations at its central Illinois non-union strip mine.
Translation: Imagine the...
Jeff Biggers | AlterNet 02 May 2013 Hits:250 Illinois
"We are over-tested, under-resourced and fed up!"
Hundreds of Chicago students are taking up the mantle in the fight against the role of standardized tests in public school closures as they walked out of a state exam Wednesday. Their message: "We are over-tested, under-resourced and fed up!"
Over 300 students from over 25 different Chicago public schools boycotted the second day of a state-wide standardized test.
Ahead of a school board meeting, at which the demonstrators were banned from speaking, the students rallied outside the district headquarters carrying placards and forming a human...
Lauren McCauley | Common Dreams 27 Apr 2013 Hits:445 Illinois
“Every Constitution written since the end of World War II includes a provision that men and women are citizens of equal stature. Ours does not.“ Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Equal Rights Amendment is up for a vote in Illinois on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.
What’s fantastic is that there are now ten Democratic members and only six Republicans on the Judiciary Committee that will be voting on the issue. I am listing their contact information below.
Your help is needed TODAY. It is important, even if you don’t live in...
Kimberley A. Johnson | Liberals Unite 14 Apr 2013 Hits:479 Illinois
Former state representative Robin Kelly (D) easily won a special election in Illinois’ 2nd congressional district Tuesday, capturing the seat once held by embattled Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr.
With 20 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the race for Kelly, who led Republican nominee Paul McKinley 89 percent to 7 percent.
Kelly’s fate was essentially sealed when she won the February 26 Democratic primary. With a boost from gun control advocates, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), Kelly cruised to victory in a crowded Democratic race, all but ensuring a trip to Congress. The overwhelmingly Democratic district includes Chicago’s...
Sean Sullivan | The Washington Post 11 Apr 2013 Hits:204 Illinois
More than 100 people arrested while taking part in mass civil disobedience against Rahm Emmanuel's cuts and closures
More than 100 demonstrators taking part in mass civil disobedience were arrested in Chicago on Wednesday as several thousand people marched against the largest proposed round of school closings in recent memory.
Many carried placards proclaiming "Strong Schools, Strong Neighbourhoods" and "Protect Our Children" while chanting "Whose Schools, Our Schools" and calling for mayor Rahm Emmanuel's resignation.
"We're signalling that there is going to be a large and determined movement that will use the tactics of civil disobedience...
Gary Younge | The Guardian UK 28 Mar 2013 Hits:196 Illinois
March 26 - At 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, J-1 student guestworkers who exposed severe exploitation and retaliation at McDonald’s restaurants will march on the home of CEO Don Thompson to personally deliver more than 100,000 petition signatures and demand an end to labor abuse.
The students delivered the petitions and demanded a high-level meeting at McDonald's corporate headquarters yesterday, but Don Thompson refused to appear.
At 5:30 p.m. they'll bring their demands and petitions right to CEO Don Thompson's home. Along with the petitions students will bring food from each...
26 Mar 2013 Hits:224 Illinois
One of the largest charter school operators in Chicago, the politically influential United Neighborhood Organization, has agreed to allow teachers at its schools to join a union, labor leaders said Friday morning.
The move represents a sharp change in stance for UNO CEO Juan Rangel, a co-chairman of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2011 campaign who strongly criticized the Chicago Teachers Union for going on strike last year.
Rangel’s newly forged deal with the Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff, known as ACTS Chicago, comes barely a month after the Chicago Sun-Times revealed how...
DAN MIHAPOULOS | CHICAGO SUN-TIMES 10 Mar 2013 Hits:386 Illinois
It's an obvious question, with an easy answer. Our nation's bipartisan political elite have decided to privatize public education. They know the only way they can execute this deeply unpopular policy is to do it on the down-low, with a minimum of coverage, and no mention of the p-word, especially of growing civic resistance to it.
If you don't live in Chicago you might not know that the CEO and the dozens of other six figure a year mayoral cronies who run the Chicago Public...
Bruce Dixon | Black Agenda Report 28 Feb 2013 Hits:672 Illinois
(Note from the Answer Sheet's Valerie Strauss: A coalition of teachers from public and private schools — including the school that Education Secretary Arne Duncan attended as a child and where President Obama’s daughters were enrolled before they moved to Washington — are releasing an open letter to Duncan expressing concerns about department policies that they say promote the overuse of standardized tests. Among the signees are teachers from the Ariel Community Academy, a public school that was founded by a team of people that included Duncan.)
Dear Mr. Duncan,
Chicago Teachers | Common Dreams 16 Feb 2013 Hits:510 Illinois
Bill Bianchi, co-coordinator, PDA-IL reports:
PDA's third Progressive Central, co-sponsored by the Nation on Saturday January 19th, brought together the heart of America's progressive leadership.
The Progressive Central idea is simple. While the national political parties and elected leaders are holding their conventions and inaugural, PDA piggy-backs on their events to gain a national spotlight for our progressive agenda and strategy and to give our progressive champions a chance to shine. Guerrilla publicity.
I'll be the first to admit that the progressive community in this country remains weak and for the most...
PDA Illinois Leadership 30 Jan 2013 Hits:333 Illinois
Wanda Rohl’s surprisingly strong showing in the recent congressional race for Illinois’ 16th district spurred progressives from the DeKalb-Rockford area to form a new PDA chapter.
Eight PDA supporters in Illinois’ 16th congressional district set chapter goals to: expand the progressive base, advance PDA’s progressive agenda and recruit and elect progressive candidates in a district that is designed to be Republican.
In 2010, the Illinois Democratic Party redistricted the state’s legislative districts, leaving the 16th a solid Republican strip running from the Wisconsin border 150 miles down the center of...
Illinoisnoki1 | PDA IL 10 Dec 2012 Hits:539 Illinois
A high-ranking employee of the contractor who recently won a $99.4 million janitorial contract with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration once served a prison sentence after he was charged in the same corruption case as late Chicago mob boss Anthony “Big Tuna” Accardo.
Paul A. Fosco was convicted on racketeering charges in 1987, sentenced to a 10-year prison term and left federal prison in 1993, public records show. He now is an executive vice president of United Service Companies, according to his profile posted...
Dan Mihalopoulos | The Sun Times 09 Dec 2012 Hits:485 Illinois
CHICAGO — Gov. Pat Quinn tentatively set the special election to replace U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. for March 19, saying he would seek approval to move it to coincide with municipal elections on April 9.
Jackson resigned from Congress last week, citing his health and acknowledging that he's under federal investigation, reportedly for misuse of campaign funds. The move creates an unusual opening in the Chicago area territory that Jackson has held since 1995, and several candidates have already come forward.
The law gives the...
Sophia Tareen | Associated Press 27 Nov 2012 Hits:554 Illinois
BuzzFlash at Truthout talked today to Tom Gaulrapp who is losing his job after 33 years because Mitt Romney's Bain Capital is sending the Sensata plant where he works to China. Not only will Gaulrapp and about 170 US workers lose their jobs to low paid workers overseas, many of them – such as Gaulrapp – will have lost considerable severance payments due to Bain's acquisition of the plant from Honeywell in late 2010.
Bain Capital owns the majority shares in Sensata since 2006. According to Gaulrapp, when Sensata...
Mark Karlin, Editor of BuzzFlash 26 Sep 2012 Hits:1052 Illinois
Democrats left their convention in Charlotte, N.C., with an unusual amount of unity and enthusiasm, but the three-day-old strike by 26,000 teachers in Chicago has quickly deflated some…
Of the issues that remain to be settled in the contract dispute here between the teachers’ union and the city, expanding charter schools is not officially on the table.
For the first time in a quarter century, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU)—which represents educators, school clinicians, and support staff in the nation's third-largest school district—is on strike…
With the possibility looming for a strike beginning on Monday across Chicago’s public schools, contract talks for city teachers were expected to stretch into the weekend, as hundreds…
Pat Quinn: "We should show the nation that when something really bad happens ... that we don't stand idly by, we take action."
In the wake of the mass shooting in…
On a warm summer afternoon, outside of Peoria, over 60 people including union members, Peoria County Democrats and PDA supporters enjoyed an old fashioned candidate picnic outside Peoria, Illinois, July…
Barrington, Illinois July 28, 2012. Today in Barrington a rag-tag crew of progressives from as far away as Round Lake to the north, Chicago to the east, and…
A workers' cooperative in the Goose Island area of Chicago is desperately trying to stop the liquidation of a windows and doors factory the sale of which will…
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By Ashlee Rezin Friday June 29th, 2012, Progress Illinois
Romney's Bain Capital to move 170 Jobs to China
In response to more than 170 impending layoffs at…
BY DAN MIHALOPOULOS Staff Reporter email@example.com May 16, 2013 9:51PMBookmark/Search this post with:
By Guy Miller"We've had this date from the beginning," Stanley tells Blanche before he brutally rapes her in scene ten of Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire. On April 10, when President Barack Obama released his 2014 budget proposal...
Protest New Illinois Governmental Body that Can Force Charters on Your CommunityBy Northern Illinois Jobs for JusticeLink to meeting schedule at Charter Commission Offices, 160 N. LaSalle http://www.isbe.state.il.us/SCSC/meetings/meetings.htmMembers...
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 7, 2013 President Obama has proclaimed this as “National Charter Schools Week” in the United States, warmly embracing a cause that is anathema to teachers unions as it is in much of the president’s liberal...
SPRINGFIELD--Saturday, April 27: A dozen Springfield area activists gathered at the Lincoln Library Public Library, 326 S. 7th St., to form Progressive Democrats of Greater Springfield, here after known as the P-DOGS.Bookmark/Search this post...
The Washington Post, Posted by Valerie Strauss on April 13, 2013Bookmark/Search this post with:
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