"Not even a month has passed since Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat, requested that the Chicago city council enact what he termed “temporary” and “one-time only” anti-protest measures in advance of the overlapping NATO and G-8 summits that will be held in the city from May 15-22. During a press conference held on January 4, Emanuel claimed that he “misspoke,” and that many of the proposed antidemocratic ordinances will in fact be permanent."
These are quotes from an article by Alexader Fangmann, entitled Proposed Chicago anti-protest laws to be permanent, and published yesterday.
"...Democratic mayors such as Emanuel have spearheaded efforts, coordinated with the Obama administration, to shut down, intimidate and stifle emerging social protests. The proposed Chicago ordinances, taken together, represent an escalation of these efforts..."
"...While the new laws were written from the standpoint of maintaining “order” during the summits, there can now be absolutely no question that the political establishment intends to use them against Occupy Chicago and any other protest movement or mass movement that develops.
Already, Rahm Emanuel and the CPD have made over 300 arrests of Occupy Chicago protesters, in attacks which are now widely acknowledged by the media to be the precedent for those that will be employed during the NATO and G-8 events. The justification cited for the Occupy Chicago arrests was the violation of “park closing hours.” Those attempting to protest near the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago were threatened with arrest for “blocking the sidewalks.”
Emanuel was installed as mayor of Chicago in large part due to his ruthlessness, which was deemed an essential quality for a politician charged with the imposition of substantial budget cuts and layoffs. Since then he has brushed aside numerous sit-ins and protests by groups whose perspective is to apply pressure on politicians.
On January 4 members of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization staged a sit-in at city hall to demand school reforms. Emanuel did not meet with the parents, students or teachers who participated, and who were told by police that they would have to leave by 5:30 p.m. or face arrest. When the protesters tried to come back for a second day, they were denied the use of folding chairs, placing additional burdens on some of the older participants.
As with all the other antidemocratic and reactionary measures being passed around the world, the source of Chicago’s new ordinances lies in the basic incompatibility between the agenda of austerity demanded by the ruling elite and the needs and desires of the working class..."