NATO arrives everywhere
violently. Chicago was no exception. Residents were terrorized for days.
Many are still recovering. For some, it's from hospital beds. Others
are behind bars. Chicago cops upheld their odious reputation. The city
is notorious for being America's police repression capital.
On May 25, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) Chicago chapter assessed
days of police brutality. More on that below.
Former NLG leader Arthur Kinoy (1920 - 2003) spoke for like-minded activists,
<blockquote>"We, as lawyers, are fighting to keep the First Amendment
alive in the legal arena. The people are fighting to keep the First
Amendment alive in the streets, in their homes, in the factories, in
the legislative halls, in the political arena."</blockquote>
Given today's climate in America and other Western societies, the struggle
is sorely tested. Police brutality during Chicago's NATO summit highlighted
a repeated problem nationwide.
Activist struggles are targeted. Cops are enforcers for crime bosses.
Constitutional rights no longer matter. They're more artifact than reality.
On May 17, an NLG press release condemned a preemptive Bridgeport neighborhood
raid. At least eight arrests were made. No one committed a crime.
Witnesses said cops burst into a six-unit apartment building violently
with no search warrant. Doing so is illegal. They entered an apartment
One tenant was tackled in his kitchen. Two were handcuffed for two hours
in their living room while police searched their apartment and a neighboring
A search warrant produced four hours later had no authorizing signature.
Beer-making supplies and cell phones were seized.
Three youths were charged with possession of incendiary devices, material
support for terrorism, and conspiracy to commit it.
Despite no evidence whatever proving it, allegations claimed planned
use of Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs against police stations, financial
institutions, Obama's Chicago headquarter, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel's
home. Other baseless accusations were made.
On May 22, the Chicago Tribune headlined "Lawyers for 3 charged in firebomb
plot say solitary confinement in jail is 'cruel and unusual,' " saying:
NLG attorney Michael Deutsch said they're held on excessive $1.5 million
bonds in "hospital-white" cells, 24 hours a day, and can't communicate
<blockquote>"They are totally in isolation from everyone else
in the jail and each other," he said. "They have nothing to read. They
have no writing material. It's a kind of sensory deprivation situation."</blockquote>
The Constitution's Eight Amendment prohibits "excessive bail," "excessive
fines," and "cruel and unusual punishment."
Brian Church, Jared Chase, and Brent Betterly are victimized by all
A follow-up May 23 Tribune article headlined "Lawyers for 3 accused
of NATO plot criticize jail isolation," saying:
Cook County Sheriff Department spokesman Frank Bilecki claimed the three
youths were isolated to assess if they risk "harm (to) themselves or
anyone else." NLG attorneys denounced their isolation as "cruel and
unusual." They also affirmed their innocence.
On May 25, the NLG Chicago chapter headlined "National Lawyers Guild
Provides Wrap-up of Police Actions During Week-long NATO Demonstrations,"
Cops engaged in "harassment and violence."
"(S)erious injuries, high-level charges, and exceptionally high bonds"
NLG estimated 117 arrests. Less than 100 were charged. Most were for
violating city ordinances, disorderly conduct, failure to disperse,
trespassing, resisting arrest, and other misdemeanors.
Sixteen face felony accusations. Five are accused of terrorism-related
Virtually everyone charged is innocent. Cops violated their rights,
not the reverse.
Over 70 reports of police brutality were received. Most occurred during
Sunday marches. Most injuries were from baton head and body blows. Over
two dozen were hospitalized for broken bones, concussions, knocked out
teeth, and open wounds requiring stitches.
According to NLG spokesperson Kris Hermes:
<blockquote>"Although police allowed some unpermitted marches
to take place without incident, there were massive shows of force by
police throughout the week of NATO demonstrations and indiscriminate
violence perpetrated against many protesters."
"Contrary to rhetoric from Mayor Emanuel and Police Superintendent McCarthy,
the city was anything but tolerant to political dissent."</blockquote>
It waged war against peaceful protesters. Hundreds of Occupy Chicago
participants have been targeted, harassed, arrested, and, at times,
beaten for demanding rights they've been denied. Protesters on
city streets always face harsh police responses.
During NATO's summit, activists' homes and organizing spaces were violated
without warrants. Chicago Independent Media Center and Wellington Avenue
Church were targeted. Numerous unconstitutional stops and searches were
On May 22, the first felony case was dismissed in Cook County court.
On May 15, Danny Johnson was arrested at an immigration rally. He was
charged with aggravated felony assault on a police officer. He was jailed
for a week on $10,000 bond. According to NLG's Hermes:
<blockquote>"The dismissal of charges against (him) certainly
raises questions about the veracity of claims against many other NATO
A dozen or more remain in custody. Five are for terrorism-related charges.
No evidence whatever proves them. Most court dates were scheduled from
Hearings for the so-called "NATO 5" will be on June 12 and 13.
During days of NATO protests, NLG lawyers were available round-the-clock
if needed. Observers were deployed to document police misconduct.
NLG "is committed to provid(e) legal representation for anyone arrested
and facing charges."
They'll need all the help they can get. Innocence is no defense. NATO
5 activists face kangaroo court injustice. Guilty by accusation is policy.
Precedent shows if they're exonerated they'll likely be retried on new
charges until convicted.
Police state justice doesn't take no for an answer. Imperial America
wants no challengers abroad or at home. The nation's gulag is filled
with those who try and many others illegally entrapped.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized
Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
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