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Who okayed Chicago’s $5 million hush payment for killing Laquan McDonald? Did buck stop with Rahm Emanuel?

Laquan McDonald's murder was covered up for over a year, five million was paid to his family to keep the killing under wraps. The Chicago police officer who shot McDonald was only charged after the video came to light. Laquan McDonald was killed on October 20, 2014, two months after Michael Brown. Ferguson protests were in full swing. Imagine if the communities of South Chicago had seen the video when Black Lives Matter was in ascendance. It's hard to say from how high heads should roll over this scandal. Were the Ferguson and Baltimore riots countered from above? Was riot police strategy coordinated by agencies above municipal hierarchies like Chicago's? We know the Baltimore protests were monitored by FBI surveillance flights. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel most certainly should be forced to resign, but the authority which quashed the Laquan video is no doubt sitting on others, and this abuse extends beyond racism. Laquan McDonald's killing and coverup didn't just happen 400-odd days ago. It happened in the thick of Black Lives coming to Matter. Chicago cops were deleting Burger King security camera video while Ferguson solidarity protests were happening in Chicago.

We all hate bad teachers, and so do teachers. Chicago Teachers Strike is about improving education

No one hates bad teachers more than fellow teachers. What a vile media construct to assert the Chicago Teachers Strike wants to force bad teachers on the public school system. The strike is a bid to strengthen the union and public education. Who better to fight privatization, standardized testing and the deliberate mis-education of common students than teachers? Unions are regularly maligned as parasites bent on destroying their host, but it's an obvious falsehood which ironically depends on an audience being unschooled in critical thinking, or being unemployed. If you have a job, you know that wishing against the interest of your communal enterprise is not human nature, and also that your job is made more difficult and unpleasant by workers who don't pull their weight. A strong union fights for the interests of its members, and what do teachers, the most altruist among us, want? Not just a better work environment, a better education system.

For suppression of NATO protest voice, Obama campaign HQ salutes Chicago Police Department

OCCUPIED CHICAGO- President Obama got last weekend's protest message loud and clear, he's lost that voter to antiwar favorite Vermin Supreme. A week after the NATO Summit, his Democratic Party headquarters in the Prudential Building leaves the office lights on for the law enforcement vote. Or was it to compensate for Mayor Rahm Emanuel stiffing the CPD on their overtime pay for quelling popular dissent at the summit?

Birds Egg Blue v Black, police brutality colors from Selma ’65 to Chicago 2012

OCCUPIED CHICAGO- That sea of light blue helmets protecting the NATO summit in Chicago last weekend may be a novel visual to those accustomed to police state armor black, but that's because most 60s era news images were black & white. Color photos from Life Magazine remind us that light blue was the team color of the Alabama state troopers who brutalized the Civil Rights marchers trying to march from Selma to Montgomery.

The Occupy Movement highlights opposing NATO in its coming protest

NATO, like the United Nations itself, has become nothing more than a military appendage to the Pentagon and D.C.'s imperialist foreign policies. As such, it is a wide open gullet where our tax monies are fed to promote continuous warfare around the globe. The Occupy Movement is 100% right to make NATO the central target for its next protest against the 1% Establishment. Occupy Chicago NATO Week of Actions Preview

Visit Chicago for mirth and adventure

MoveOn wants to mobilize the world's largest nonviolence movement, calling on the 99% to teach-in itself in time for their American Spring. That's certain to sound more palatable to America's unbaptized middle-roaders, than the invitation above, invoking the reception likely awaiting protesters who plan to converge on Chicago in May. The G8 has been relocated to Camp David, but the larger NATO summit is still scheduled to warrant a two mile wide security perimeter around downtown Chicago. What does this poster communicate to you? I'm guessing the menacing image wasn't chosen at random, it says to me the unadventurous need not apply.

Occupy Wall Street mentor Adbusters issues latest tactical briefing. Chicago. May. Occupy.

Vancouver's Adbusters Magazine sent the initial callouts to occupy Wall Street, to be the natural successor to unfinished revolutions in Tahrir Square and Madrid. Quickly enough it escaped their grasp. Adusters has issued two dozen "Tactical Briefings" since before September 17 to advise the growing rebellion, to be interpreted coming from a valued mentor, albeit an outsider, technically now, a non-occupier. The distinction was never more obvious than when one of their briefings advised striking the camps and waiting out the winter. But their briefing #25 offers more than retreat, it sets OWS sights on the joint NATO-G8 summit to be held in Chicago this May, against which very large demonstrations are already being planned. No specific advice on the other hand for local occupies, wisely perhaps, where tacticians can add no more to the strategy than hold your ground, by definition, occupy. ADBUSTERS TACTICAL BRIEFING #25 Hey you redeemers, rebels and radicals out there, Against the backdrop of a global uprising that is simmering in dozens of countries and thousands of cities and towns, the G8 and NATO will hold a rare simultaneous summit in Chicago this May. The world’s military and political elites, heads of state, 7,500 officials from 80 nations, and more than 2,500 journalists will be there. And so will we. On May 1, 50,000 people from all over the world will flock to Chicago, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and #OCCUPYCHICAGO for a month. With a bit of luck, we’ll pull off the biggest multinational occupation of a summit meeting the world has ever seen. And this time around we’re not going to put up with the kind of police repression that happened during the Democratic National Convention protests in Chicago, 1968 … nor will we abide by any phony restrictions the City of Chicago may want to impose on our first amendment rights. We’ll go there with our heads held high and assemble for a month-long people’s summit … we’ll march and chant and sing and shout and exercise our right to tell our elected representatives what we want … the constitution will be our guide. And when the G8 and NATO meet behind closed doors on May 19, we’ll be ready with our demands: a Robin Hood Tax … a ban on high frequency ‘flash’ trading … a binding climate change accord … a three strikes and you’re out law for corporate criminals … an all out initiative for a nuclear-free Middle East … whatever we decide in our general assemblies and in our global internet brainstorm – we the people will set the agenda for the next few years and demand our leaders carry it out. And if they don’t listen … if they ignore us and put our demands on the back burner like they’ve done so many times before … then, with Gandhian ferocity, we’ll flashmob the streets, shut down stock exchanges, campuses, corporate headquarters and cities across the globe … we’ll make the price of doing business as usual too much to bear. Jammers, pack your

1, we are the people! 2, we are united! 3, the occupation is not leaving!

Nighttime arrests continue across the country in local moves to stomp on the sparking Occupy Movement, using park, curfew and anti-homeless ordinances to thwart permanent protest encampments. Participants remind each other that it's about issues not tents. The authorities however seem indifferent to their public raising issues, but raising tents is out of the question. Last night saw a mass arrest of over one hundred in Chicago's Grant Park. Here's what they were chanting as occupiers were pulled from their human chain, zip-tied and led paddy wagons on loan from the Illinois prison system.           ONE! We are the people!           TWO! We are united!           THREE! The Occupation           IS NOT LEAVING!

Chicago G8 protest planners offer city guarantees of usual ineffectual actions

Organizers meeting today to plan against next year's G8 summit in Chicago hit the ground running --backward. On Friday a spokesperson for one of the coalition partners offered this assurance to the Chicago Tribune: “Our goal is a legal, permitted, family friendly march where people can come and have their voices heard in a safe environment.” Interesting. The objective of successful past anti-globalization protests has been no less than to shut the undemocratic summits down. Nine months out, it appears activism's old guard is determined to blunt all real resistance welling in American youth. The Tribune found another normalizing voice from UNAC which disavowed any recourse but nonviolence. WTF? It's one thing not to encourage violence, another to promise to "back off from any violence.” Hello? Activists with broken spirits need to STFD and STFU. Let younger, hotter heads give you a lesson in courage and purpose. If you are over thirty, hold yourselves among the fucks responsible for this mess. Who are you to deny the young their righteous rage? As elder activists, precisely what wisdom is it you think you can impart? Have you stopped one war? Slowed imperialism? Ended nukes? Saved the whales? Halted global warming? Attended to anything but the erosion of democracy, the social safety net and the environment? Your exalted nonviolence neither delivered India from class exploitation nor ended racism in America. Stick with fundraising, educating, inspiring others, drawing your peers into social networking; lead, but not by edict, and not by a consensus dominated by your peers. Put your dogma aside for the young leaders, let them make their own mistakes. I hope you will at least admit they can't fail more miserably than you. At Sunday's meeting, the United National Antiwar Committee spokesman acquitted himself when confronted by a young gentleman representing an anarchist entity. Committee member Ashley Smith's full quote had been: "We will not be the ones to initiate or perpetrate any violence.” And: “We will back off from any violence.” But when pressed at the meeting, he explained that organizers hoped the event would be safe for families, but that younger militants could exercise their freedoms like anybody else. I paraphrase. I'll qualify my criticism by pointing out that a number of the organizers were personal victims of recent FBI home invasions, so they are fully justified in having to distance themselves from being interpreted as advocating violence. An additional challenge is presented by an adversarial corporate press determined to squeeze whatever soundbite it wants to discredit or hobble protest. Of course I'd prefer activists recused themselves from addressing the subject of violence/nonviolence, instead of alienating potential allies by being deliberately exclusionary. And by potential allies, I mean the only allies that will get the movement anywhere, the NEXT GENERATION, because who else are you expecting?

Illinois legislators urge National Guard to patrol Chicago, Constitution says no

Things you learn while cleaning out your spam folder. Get bigger breasts. Get a bigger penis, get a scholarship to the Police Academy. (???) cash in on your GI bill, join the Army, get compensation from the Nigerian Government for being a victim of a Nigerian scam, just give them all your identification and a valid bank account they can Clean out errr.. transfer the funds to... Classic Viagra, not just regular Viagra, no SIR! It's CLASSIC and of course goes well with whatever dope makes your breasts bigger. AND... The Chicago Police have been offered from two Illinois Legislators assistance in the form of National Guard troops. OK so that was on the way to the mail folder on Yahoo. But the story is legit. Now, neither the Chicago Police nor the Illinois National Guard are especially warm to the idea. Mostly because it's a really stupid idea and sounds a whole lot like political grandstanding.. The Klan often make such offers. Just not to the South Side of Chicago (the baddest part of town and if you go down there you better just beware of a man name of Leroy Brown..) because they themselves knew better and though they're given to grandstanding stunts they ain't that crazy. Don't get me wrong, they ARE nut-jobs, just even insanity has an upward limit. One thing the Chicago Superintendent of Police said rings a huge bell, honks a big horn and in general makes a grab for your attention. The police, says the Super, have to function within the Constitution of the United States and have to recognize human rights, like to a fair trial and actual proof of guilt before arresting somebody. Or at least after arresting somebody.

Woe to the lowly in Rio

Despite the efforts of Oprah and the Obamas, it didn't take the International Olympic Committee long to eliminate Chicago from the competition to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Expected to be one of the final two candidates, the city was ousted in the first round. I'm sure this intends a complex message to reach feeble American-warmonger-greedy-capitalist-bully-imperialist-fat-faced-consumer-run-amok ears, and one that I'm sure we'll not take time to understand. Okay, so, whatever. Congrats to Rio! But, no! Woe to the poor and marginalized of Rio is a more authentic sentiment. Olympic victory has put them all in harm's way, to be sure. According to the Geneva-based Centre of Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), hosting the Summer Games is an excellent excuse to have a big ol' poverty crack down. COHRE has documented the following housing trends in Olympic host cities: evictions of tenants from low-rent housing; evictions resulting from gentrification; significant decreases in boarding-house stock; inflated real-estate prices; weakened legislation protecting tenants; criminalization of poverty; temporary or permanent privatization of public space; and temporary or permanent suppression of human rights and, particularly, freedom of assembly. Congrats to Chicago are in order.

News conferences at the Chicago Hilton

CHICAGO- I tried to take the penultimate winter Shytown photograph: snow covered bicycles, pigeons on old bridge gatehouse, blowing snow, and the Sears Tower. My visit was vexing enough knowing that the president elect was conducting daily news conferences in Chicago, without a picketer in sight. You'd think someone would protest the choice of Gates, Volker or Emanuel, considering for example that November 29 was awareness day for the plight of the Palestinians. In Colorado, I had become accustomed to rallying for some street lobbying effort or other when Candidate Obama was visiting even a nearby city. Here, Chicago was playing host to all of Obama's cabinet appointment announcements. But I couldn't find any listing of corresponding activities other than weekly or monthly antiwar vigils. It was difficult enough to ascertain where the regular cabinet announcements were being presented. Most news reports simply attribute the event to Chicago, as "In Chicago today, Obama..." I began to wonder if for security logistics, the events were being staged like the Capricorn One landing, in a sound stage of inconsequential locale. Unless you subscribe to an antiwar detente-honeymoon for Obama, Chicago is an opportunity not to be missed. Soon enough Obama will be in Washington DC, out of reach of all our voices. The incoming cabinet reprise their incumbent roles daily, just off Grant Park, at the President Elect news conferences held in the ballroom of the Chicago Hilton on Michigan Avenue.

Grant Park speech aimed beneath you

The more they replay it, the more Barack Obama's Grant Park speech comes off like bad theater. From Obama's lips, I'm not sure the faithful have the skepticism to critique it. But his election night address may be the surest indication of what his centrism is going to look like, political communication for folks across the aisle: exposition and pandering. "If there is anyone here ... who still doubts the promise of our democracy, tonight is their answer." Wouldn't that be more appropriate coming from a high school teacher, asking the class to explore the meaning of Obama's win, sooner than have the candidate draw the conclusion for us? It's exposition, telling the audience what you should let them figure out by your actions. When Ussain Bolt heralded his oncoming Olympic victory, it didn't go over well either. More than just leading us by the nose, by spelling out the election's answer Obama made his theme dramatically smallish. Is that what his "change" meant? Regime change? Color change? MLK's dream in the singular? Was that the mission accomplished? Renewing America's faith in the two parties? (Forget a third?) I still doubt. And in Obama's centrist hyperbole I find few answers. In fact with the Grant Park speech machinations, he raises more. If Obama underestimated the insightfulness of his audience, or did not trust where their own observations would lead them, he had their number with his last train of thought. I'm reminded of a comedy skit in which a corporate news outlet was reviewing options for distracting their viewers from the information they were presenting. While naked, might have been one, and certainly farting while sitting in water was a hilarious alternative. Both made light of other real techniques, not the least of which, let's be fair, is using pictures of puppies. So Obama closed his address by painting that picture, a promise to his daughters. "You have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House." I thought it was adorable too. Then I wondered if I'd taken my eyes off what either his right or left hand was doing. In brief, not much. Obama was eloquent and optimistic, his points were from JFK's inaugural, which fit the youthful, multiracial Camelot we celebrated to see gather onstage. Grant Park became a memorable pageant. There were Jesse Jackson's tears, Oprah leaning on Joe the White Guy, Michelle's belted Rothko dress, and a so very presidential President-Elect. What do you remember of the speech? Democracy worked, see. Ask not what your country can do for you. Look folks, a puppy.

To Recreate 68 at the Denver DNC is not a call to incite a Rumble in the Jungle

I hope we can recreate 68. Let’s break through the media moratorium on the social issues important to us. Let’s remind the TV populace that we want to hold at least our Democratic Party politicians accountable to listen to our needs. Official channels do not permit people to raise their voices above a silent consent. The DNC in August, in Denver, is opportunity knocking in the streets.

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