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Press Conference - 5:30 Thurs - 3340 W Fillmore: National Lawyers Guild Condemns Preemptive Police Raids & Unlawful Searches



Chicago Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild

National Lawyers Guild Condemns Preemptive Police Raids & Unlawful Searches on the Streets

Early morning house raid in Bridgeport and harassment of activists indicates intolerance of free speech rights

NOTE: Press conference to be held TODAY at 5:30pm at 3340 W. Fillmore Street, the Chicago Police Department’s Organized Crime Division

Chicago, IL — The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) condemns a preemptive police raid that took place at approximately 11:30pm Wednesday in the Bridgeport neighborhood, and instances of harassment on the street, in which Chicago police are unlawfully detaining, searching, and questioning NATO protesters. The Bridgeport raid was apparently conducted by the Organized Crime Division of the Chicago Police Department and resulted in as many as 8 arrests.

According to witnesses in Bridgeport, police broke down a door to access a 6-unit apartment building near 32nd & Morgan Streets without a search warrant. Police entered an apartment with guns drawn and tackled one of the tenants to the floor in his kitchen. Two tenants were handcuffed for more than 2 hours in their living room while police searched their apartment and a neighboring unit, repeatedly calling one of the tenants a “Commie faggot.” A search warrant produced 4 hours after police broke into the apartment was missing a judge’s signature, according to witnesses. Among items seized by police in the Bridgeport raid were beer-making supplies and at least one cell phone.

"Preemptive raids like this are a hallmark of National Special Security Events," said Sarah Gelsomino with the NLG and the People’s Law Office. "The Chicago police and other law enforcement agencies should be aware that this behavior will not be tolerated and will result in real consequences for the city."

In another incident, 3 plainclothes police officers unlawfully stopped, handcuffed, and searched a NATO protester on Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive at approximately 2pm today. According to the protester, he did not consent to a search and there was no probable cause to detain him. The police also photographed and questioned him about where he was from, how he got to Chicago, how long it took, what he was doing here, where he was staying, who he was with, and how long he was planning to say in Chicago. The protester refused to answer any questions and was eventually released.

The NLG has received reports that at least 20 people have been arrested so far this week, and two people are still in custody, not including the Bridgeport residents who are still unaccounted for. One of the protesters currently being detained, Danny Johnson of Los Angeles, has been accused of assaulting a police officer during an immigrant rights rally on Tuesday afternoon. However, multiple witnesses on the scene, including an NLG Legal Observer, recorded a version of events that contradict the accusations of police.

During the week of NATO demonstrations, the NLG is staffing a legal office and answering calls from activists on the streets and in jail. The NLG will also be dispatching scores of Legal Observers to record police misconduct and representing arrestees in the event the city pursues criminal prosecutions.

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Filed under News Chicago NATO NATO Summit Police Police state Occupy

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Chicago in a jam: Security services to block cell phone towers ahead of NATO summit?


Reports suggest local law enforcement agencies are considering shutting down cell phone services in the city over the weekend and while it will most likely be very effective, many are questioning if the move is legitimate.

The Daily Beast reports that the FBI and Secret Service have standing authority to jam signals and they can also push for the shutdown of cell towers, thanks to “Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 303,” which lays out the nation’s official “Emergency Wireless Protocols.”

According to the National Communications System, the protocol details a “shutdown and restoration process for use by commercial and private wireless networks during national crises.” It was created after the London bombings in 2005, when federal security services shut off cellular networks in New York’s tunnel, fearing a similar attack. Since then, cell phone jammers have been used in situations like President Obama’s inauguration, with the Secret Service claiming there was a bomb threat, as well as a number of other cases.

Most recently, however, cell phone service was suspended in San Francisco, where police of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) subway system temporarily shut down cell service to interfere with a protest over a shooting by a BART police officer.

Initially, the BART police claimed they had appealed to the cellular providers to cut off services but later admitted to pulling the plug themselves. The American Civil Liberties Union called this move “the first and only known time a government agency in the US has blocked electronic communications as a way to quell social unrest.”

The possibility of the situation repeating itself in Chicago is not one the public is fond of. Apart from the obvious indignation at civil rights violations, people all over the web are posing perfectly reasonable questions such as what if they have to call 911? What if they have a family emergency? And why should those not involved with Occupy Chicago or any other protest movements suffer service disruptions?

The irony of the situation is, of course, in the fact that the US security services are considering doing something they’ve condemned others for. Just a month ago, President Barack Obama announced a plan to penalize authoritarian regimes that block internet access for protesters. The penalties will be aimed at countries like Syria and Iran that use technology to enable human-rights abuses against dissidents – but to many, this is a perfect example of double standards.

This potential development is just one of the drastic security measures Chicago law enforcement agencies are considering. They’ve also invested as much as $1 million on riot-control equipment, including at least one long-range acoustic device, or LRAD, and upgrades to shields to be worn by the police.

Filed under News NATO summit Chicago Cell phones police state FBI

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NATO: The New Holy Alliance

The Chicago conclave and history’s little ironies

by Justin Raimondo

They’re cowering in Chicago, where the NATO summit is scheduled to open on May 20: the security arrangements go well beyond paranoia. They’re telling office workersin buildings adjacent to the site to “dress down,” lest they become identified with the proceedings. A huge “security zone” is being imposed on McCormick Place, where the conclave will take place, and subway riders who must pass under the site will be subjected to pat-downs and other security measures. The airspace above the venue will be restricted, and any planes that pass through it will be promptly shot down.

I have no doubt the original McCormick – Col. Robert Rutherford McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune from the 1920s to the mid-fifties – is rolling in his grave as the NATO-ites prepare to convene in the place named for him. The Colonel denounced NATO, on the occasion of its formation, as the instrument of a destructive internationalism, one that would forever entangle us in the feuds and intrigues of a dangerous world: for his pains, he was attacked in The New Republic and even in The Nation (!) for “taking the Soviet line.” As McCormick, along with such notables as Joe Kennedy and Herbert Hoover, warned against the folly of “collective security” embodied by NATO, the editors of The New Republic envisioned a Red Dawn-like future in which the Commie Colossus would sweep across Europe and leap the Atlantic “until the Stalinist caucus in the Tribune Tower would bring out in triumph the first communist edition of the Chicago Tribune.”

Now that the Colossus has been downed and the original rationale for NATO no longer exists, the same hysterics are the occasion for any suggestion that America’sinternational footprint – considerably enlarged by its participation in NATO – be scaled back, Not to worry: new rationales are readily available, and the prosecution of our eternal “war on terrorism” has breathed new life into NATO’s moribund body.

Like all government bureaucracies, NATO is relentlessly devoted to its own self-perpetuation: far from dismantling itself after the end of the alleged “Soviet threat,” the NATO-crats extended their reach, moving into the Caucasus, where Georgia’swould-be dictator Mikheil Saakashvili is hoping to join the ranks of the alliance. The US has put the NATO “brand” on its occupation of Afghanistan, with the new “multilateralist” emphasis of the Obama administration being given a fresh gloss in Chicago.

As a conduit of “defense” funds piped directly into the coffers of the military-industrial complex, NATO is a reliable source of income for our crony capitalists. Aside from that, however, it provides a political and ideological framework on which to hang our interventionist pretensions. Which brings us back to Colonel McCormick….

When proposals for an “international army” arose in the postwar era, McCormick’sTribune presciently compared the idea to the Holy Alliance, a gaggle of European monarchs who plotted to defend the “Christian” principle of monarchical absolutism in the post-Napoleonic world:

Almost immediately the defensive arrangement became aggressive. The people of Spain found their government oppressive and sought to do something about it. Their efforts were put down. The people of Piedmont and of Naples were the victims of appalling misgovernment: in 1821 they had to be repressed by the Austrians under Gen. Frimont.

And so it went. The South American nations had won their independence from Spain during the long European struggle. Now that the war was over, the king of Spain, with the repressive ideas of the Holy Alliance as his guide, was resolved to force his former colonies back into submission. He might have sent his fleet and his armies across the Atlantic if President Monroe had not put forward the doctrine that bears his name.”

Under President Monroe, America was a bulwark against the Holy Alliance of its day, the focus of Europe’s fearful monarchs as the peasants began to rise. Today, America stands at the head of a new Holy Alliance, as our modern-day Metternichs convene in Chicago amid rumors of a peasant protest that have the authorities terrified. The entire affair is to be walled off, with troops in the streets and snipers on rooftops: the city will be in lockdown for days.

Chicago has often been a battleground in the wars our government has waged on its own citizens. The year 1968 saw a pitched battle in the shadow of the Democratic national convention, as antiwar protestors fought police in the streets: the picture of Hubert Humphrey standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Boss Daley – against the backdrop of cops flattening peaceful protestors – forever discredited the cold war liberal wing of that party.

Naturally, one hopes the protest will be peaceful, but the authorities are making this difficult if not impossible by imposing draconian bans on almost all forms of protest – public gatherings are all but outlawed for the duration, unless they take place in designated “protest pens.” Hardly anyone finds it shocking that the constitutional right to assembly and to free speech has been summarily abolished by Boss Rahm Emanuel. After all, the Constitution is merely a national document, which must yieldto the supranational priorities of the NATO confab.

NATO should have died with the end of the cold war. Instead it grew into the octopus-like creature it is today, its suckered tentacles attaching themselves to every conflict that arises, internationalizing ancient tribal feuds and elevating minor border skirmishes to the level of international crises.

America pays the bills, and provides the military backbone, while the Europeans are in it for their cut of the action, whilst assiduously avoiding getting their own soldiers killed. In return, Washington gets to dress up its wars in “multilateralist” drag, and conduct foreign policy without congressional oversight. One notes the recent agreement with Afghan “President” Hamid Karzai, signed by the President on his recent trip to Kabul, will be a major topic of discussion at the Chicago conclave: does anyone but me find it odd that the administration is taking a treaty to NATO for approval before deigning to submit it for the consideration of the US Senate?

I suspect the Colonel would have found it odd, too, but he’s been dead since 1955, the year the Warsaw Pact was founded and the cold war began in earnest. His warnings against a promiscuous internationalism, derided as “isolationism” by both the “progressive” left and the “New Right” of William F. Buckley, Jr., passed into history, where they are unlikely to be recovered by today’s anti-NATO protesters. Yet one likes to think McCormick’s ghost will be looking down at them from the height of the Tribune Tower, and saying: “Didn’t I tell you so?”

Filed under News Chicago NATO Nato summit

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No-Fly Zone Over Chicago


May 2, 2012

At this May’s Imperial NATO Summit, the politicians, generals, and bureaucrats in charge of looting domestic subjects of their wealth to feed the insatiable appetite of their bloody empire will be “protected” by a no-fly zone over Chicago enforced by a shoot-to-kill order. 

No-fly zones are one of the favorite tools of the American Empire, used over the skies of poor, defenseless countries like Iraq and Libya (is Syria next?). Now, as all empires do, it’s coming to “the homeland” to intimidate domestic subjects.

Dissent and outrage among Americans with our masters is at an all-time high thanks to the Internet, free information, and spread of the ideas of liberty, and they can smell it. But no matter how many “no-fly zones” or police-state methods are used to huff-and-puff, they don’t stand a chance against us and a message that is growing by the day.


(Source: newstome1)

Filed under News Nato Nato Summit Chicago Surveillance State Totalitarianism Police State Militarism Protest

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Milwaukee Red Cross Told To Prep For Chicago Evacuation During NATO Summit

Side Note: File this under ‘more weird shit going on with NATO’s Chicago summit.


CHICAGO (CBS) – Is there a secret plan to evacuate some residents of Chicago in the event of major trouble during the NATO summit next month? CBS 2 has uncovered some evidence that there is. It comes from the Milwaukee area branch of the American Red Cross.

CBS 2 News has obtained a copy of a Red Cross e-mail sent to volunteers in the Milwaukee area.

It said the NATO summit “may create unrest or another national security incident. The American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin has been asked to place a number of shelters on standby in the event of evacuation of Chicago.”

According to a chapter spokesperson, the evacuation plan is not theirs alone.

“Our direction has come from the City of Chicago and the Secret Service,” she said.

Officials at Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication said the directive did not come from them.

The U.S. Secret Service did not return calls for comment.

Some downtown residents told CBS 2’s Mike Parker that the news has them on edge.

Brad Klein said it is “very unnerving. I feel a little bit unsafe, just a bit more than a little bit. It doesn’t make me feel like I want to be in the city during the NATO conference.”

An executive with the Service Employees International Union, who trains members in preparation for the summit, thinks such a plan might be “over the top.”

SEIU Local 1 training director Tom Dobry said, “This could be a lot like Y2K – a lot of hype and buildup. People will say, ‘that was it?’ Not a big deal.”

Filed under News Chicago Evacuation NATO NATO Summit

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Peace activists in failed bid to swarm NATO HQ


Police arrest some of 500 peace activists from more than 10 European countries

Hundreds of peace activists on Sunday tried in vain to break into the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Brussels, with 483 of them arrested by police.

The demonstration, organised by the Belgian association Action for Peace two months before a NATO summit in Chicago, was called to protest the alliance’s intervention in Afghanistan and Libya, and nuclear arming.

"No demonstrator was able to enter NATO headquarters," spokesman for Brussels police, Christian De Coninck, told AFP. “We detained 483 people for questioning and all of them should be free in the evening.”

De Coninck said no one was hurt and no damage was reported.

Demonstrators crossed fields and sought to climb over fences leading to the NATO compound, but were stopped by a large police presence, some on horseback, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

"We neither want the anti-missile shield, nor intervention by NATO in Libya or Afghanistan, nor nuclear bombs that are illegal in our country," said Benoit Calvi, a spokesman for Action for Peace.

Demonstrators shouted “No more NATO”, “We want peace now” and “NATO Game Over”.

"A military alliance that intervenes all over the world and has nuclear weapons is a threat to world peace," said Action for Peace.

Some “500 to 600 policemen” were deployed to counter the demonstration, a policeman said.

Demonstrators, most of them in their twenties, were from Belgium but also arrived from Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey.

Those stopped by the police were made to sit in lines with their hands tied behind their back.

In March 2008, about 1,000 peace activists had mounted a similar operation to mark the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq. At the time police detained 450 people.

A year later, another attempt to storm NATO headquarters on the 60th anniversary of the military alliance ended with the arrest of 442 people.

Filed under News Chicago NATO Summit Arrests Protest Activism Occupy Police State Free Speech War Arrest Belgium Britain Finland France Germany Spain Sweden Turkey OTAN

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Baghdad turns into a ‘virtual prison’ ahead of Arab League summit

[Side note, incidentally Chicago is being transformed into a ‘virtual prison’ in response to the approaching NATO summit.]

BAGHDAD // Traffic jams are growing longer and tempers shorter as Baghdad goes into near-lockdown ahead of next week’s Arab League summit.

Tens of thousands of soldiers and police reinforcements have been brought into the city for the summit and the extra patrols and checkpoints are disrupting normal life. Bitter arguments are breaking out between frustrated commuters and the military and police.

For someone such as Awad Al Temime, the delays can mean a matter of life and death. He is a surgeon at Rahibat hospital. After four hours in his car yesterday morning to barely move two blocks, he gave up and walked to work.

"I have been trying to reach my workplace since 7am and it took me four hours just to drive two main streets," he said angrily. "So I had to park my car far, far away and make it on foot to the hospital.

"It’s just crazy, what they are doing. Of course we are with the summit and we stand with the government. But we can’t take this.

"I saw thousands of soldiers filling Baghdad’s streets and the army and police seem to be going mad, kicking out everyone yelling at everyone. It’s just madness."

"I had to delay my work. I missed a critical case at the hospital."

Leaders of the 22-nation Arab League, which has temporarily suspended Syria over its attempt to crush a rebellion against the government of Bashar Al Assad, will meet in the Iraqi capital next week. The Syrian crisis will dominate the agenda.

Al Qaeda has vowed to disrupt the conference and a string of bombings across the country have killed dozens in recent days.

Areas of the city, including leading to the Green Zone where thousands of ordinary Iraqis live, have been closed off.

Husham Al Abideen, a reporter for Iraqi TV, described the city as a virtual prison.

To the Arab League leaders, he pleaded: “Please don’t come, you’re killing us.”


Filed under News Iraq Police State Baghdad Arab League summit NATO summit Chicago Geopolitics

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