Nato talks security and peace, Chicago has neither
Gary Younge, The Guardian
Sunday 20 May 2012 16.00 EDT
When the city mayor Rahm Emanuel brought the summit to Chicago he boasted: “From a city perspective this will be an opportunity to showcase what is great about the greatest city in the greatest country.” The alternative “99% tour” of the city, organised by the Grassroots Collaborative that came to Brighton Park, revealed how utterly those who claim to export peace and prosperity abroad have failed to provide it at home.
The murder rate in Chicago in the first three months of this year increased by more than 50% compared with the same period last year, giving it almost twice the murder rate of New York. And the manner in which the city is policed gives many as great a reason to fear those charged with protecting them as the criminals. By the end of July last year police were shooting people at the rate of six a month and killing one person a fortnight.
Chicago illustrates how the developing world is everywhere, not least in the heart of the developed. The mortality rate for black infants in the city is on a par with the West Bank; black life expectancy in Illinois is just below Egypt and just above Uzbekistan. More than a quarter of Chicagoans have no health insurance, one in five black male Chicagoans are unemployed and one in three live in poverty. Latinos do not fare much better. Chicago may be extreme in this regard, but it is by no means unique. While the ethnic composition of poverty may change depending on the country, its dynamics will doubtless be familiar to pretty much all of the G8 participants and most of the Nato delegates too.
Whose Firebombs? Inside the Alleged "Conspiracy"
By Curtis Black, Truthout
Sunday, 20 May 2012 13:32
Chicago police have a long history of infiltrating peaceful protest groups and fomenting violence – it’s one reason the Red Squad was banned by a federal court order (later lifted at the request of Mayor Daley) – and infiltration of protest groups seems to be standard operating procedure for “national security events.”
And nationally since 9/11, an embarrassing proportion of “anti-terrorism” cases have involved plots proposed, planned, and enabled by police agents. That seems to have been the case – in just the past month – with the Wrigley bomber as well as the alleged bombing plot of a group of Cleveland anarchists who supposedly “discussed” disrupting the NATO summit. Sometimes you wonder whether such efforts are directed at keeping us safe or “putting points on the board” – or, when big protests are planned, generating scare headlines.
Men accused of plotting attacks around NATO summit
By MICHAEL TARM, Associated Press
1 day ago
Documents filed by prosecutors in support of the charges in Chicago painted an ominous portrait of the men, saying the trio also discussed using swords, hunting bows and knives with brass-knuckle handles in their attacks.
But defense lawyers shot back that Chicago police had trumped up the charges to frighten peaceful protesters away, telling a judge it was undercover officers known by the activists as “Mo” and “Gloves” who brought the firebombs to a South Side apartment where the men were arrested.
“This is just propaganda to create a climate of fear,” Michael Deutsch said. “My clients came to peacefully protest.”
On the eve of the summit, the dramatic allegations were reminiscent of previous police actions ahead of major political events, when authorities moved quickly to prevent suspected plots but sometimes quietly dropped the charges later.
The Preemptive Prosecution of the NATO 5
By: Kevin Gosztola, Firedog Lake
Monday May 21, 2012 2:02 pm
The alleged plot hangs on the fact that Betterly, Chase and Church allegedly went to a BP gas station for gasoline that could be used in the production of “Molotov cocktails.” However, the attorneys for the three men have been shown no evidence of any “Molotov cocktails.” Instead, it appears the FBI, Secret Service and Chicago police want to claim a home-brewing beer kit could have been used to produce “Molotov cocktails” and, therefore, these men are “terrorists.”
The authorities assert the three men charged in the first plot intended to “destroy police cars and attack four Chicago Police district stations with destructive devices, in an effort to undermine the police response to the conspirators’ other planned actions for the NATO Summit.” The prosecutor claims defendants possessed and/or constructed “improvised explosive-incendiary devices” (IEDs) and “various types of dangerous weapons including a mortar gun, swords, a hunting bow, throwing stars, and knives with brass-knuckle handles.” But, these claims made at a bond hearing were all claims the attorneys for the three men heard for the first time. To Deutsch, the charges sound like completely “fabricated charges” that came from the work of “police informants and provocateurs,” which have been used against movements before.
As for the additional two men, NLG attorney Sarah Gelsomino finds the charges are “sensational, politically motivated, and meant to spread fear and intimidation among people protesting the NATO summit,” just like the terrorism-related charges against Betterly, Chase and Church. The charges are trumped-up charges based on fabrications, as the city has not shown any “actual evidence of criminal activity or any weapons, though prosecutors have callously made several serious criminal allegations.”
As soon the word “ninja” appears in a story about the police, it’s a bullshit story. “Ninja knives.” Fuck you.