A $100 million NATO invasion
is coming. Low intensity conflict may follow. The "City of Broad Shoulders"
may get more than it bargained for.
Nelson Algren once called Chicago the "City on the Make." NATO's May
20/21 "on the make" invasion isn't welcome.
Chicago NATO.org announced an Obama-hosted "diplomatic summit." Thousands
plan protests against it.
The Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty issued a statement,
"The city has carried out a campaign to intimidate and vilify protesters,
claiming that protests lead to violence. In fact, the main source of
violence in the world today is the wars being waged by NATO and the
"We will march in May during the NATO meeting to deliver our message:
Jobs, Housing, Healthcare, Education, Our Pensions, the Environment:
"We and tens of thousands will be in the streets that day for a family
friendly rally and march, with cries so loud they will be heard in Camp
David and across the globe. We will be in the streets that day to fight
for our future, and speak out against the wars and their cutbacks are
designed to benefit the 1% at the expense of the 99% of the world."
Last August, dozens of activists from 73 organizations met to plan large
protests and marches when NATO arrives. United National Antiwar Coalition
(UNAC) coordinator Joe Lombado said "(t)he entire world will be watching
NATO doesn't foster democratic values, liberation, and peace. It's about
wars, death, destruction and human misery. It requires draconian austerity
and soaring debt to support it. A Chicago-style welcome awaits.
Organization representatives fear large scale crackdowns before and
during protest demonstrations. Those involved plan to repudiate confrontations.
They'll also stand up for their constitutional rights.
Dozens of NATO heads of state and other top officials plan attending.
Large delegations are coming with them. So are similar partner nation
The Chicago Tribune and Sun Times reported on elaborate security preparations.
Hundreds of state police and National Guard forces are involved. So
aren't thousands of Chicago cops.
Secret Service staff also will be out in force. The ACLU said they'll
set up a security perimeter around McCormick Place. Part of Lake Shore
Drive will be closed. It's one of the city's main arteries.
Enormous amounts of anti-scale steel fencing will be erected. Thousands
of linear feet of concrete barriers will be strategically placed.
Secret Service spokesman George Ogilve declined to give specifics. The
ACLU threatened court action unless details are released well in advance.
At issue are fundamental freedoms. They include speech and assembly
rights. They're also about police refraining from crackdowns on nonviolent
Will Chicago respect what NATO and Washington never do on so-called
"liberating" missions? Activists want to know. The city has an odious
reputation. More on that below.
Permits were granted for six protest events. Other groups got them earlier.
Chicago cops cracked down anyway. A Secret Service/Chicago police business
panel session revealed one planned tactic.
"Extraction teams" will snatch and grab protesters from crowds. Who
for what reasons wasn't explained.
Company representatives attending were told business won't be affected.
Staff won't be deterred from moving around freely. How they'll distinguish
them from protesters and pedestrians isn't clear, especially in large
Occupy Chicago plans 10 protest days. A May 12 "People's Summit" will
be followed by other events. Themes will highlight education, healthcare,
the environment, immigration, other issues, and imperialism. On May
20, a "No to NATO" march is scheduled.
"We at Occupy Chicago," it said, "cordially invite you to join us and
thousands around the world in a week of action in protest. We will highlight
the connection between our local struggles, global struggles, and the
policies of the thieves and oppressors of NATO and G-8."
Before things end, Chicago could become a battleground. Protesters stress
nonviolence. Chicago cops are notoriously confrontational. In his 1990
book "Protectors of Privilege: Red Squads and Police Repression in Urban
America," Frank Donner called the city "the national capital of police
repression" for good reason.
No-holds barred tactics are used. Illegal criminal methods include physical
confrontation, intimidation, random searches, false arrests, racial
targeting, sexual abuse, guerrilla warfare, torture, and whitewashed
investigations. Thousands of complaints are lodged. Most fall on deaf
Chicago is NATO's 25th summit. It's a first for Chicago. It may be the
city's greatest ever security challenge. Before it ends, violent crackdowns
may exceed past large events.
Three main themes are stressed:
(1) "the Alliance's commitment to Aghanistan through transition and
(2) ensuring the Alliance has the capabilities it needs to defend its
population and territory, and to deal with the challenges of the 21st
(3) strengthening NATO's network of partners across the globe."
NATO commits to supporting Afghanistan beyond 2014. Permanent occupation
is planned. It's the same wherever it shows up.
Washington wants it modernized, alliance partnerships deepened, and
perhaps new members added. National Security Council European affairs
director Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall said:
"The alliance needs to be more deployable and more adaptable, and we're
taking those lessons learned from Afghanistan and integrating them into
our planning going forward."
NATO also intends expansion beyond its borders. It plans building a
"hub of relationships around the world." Meeting "the challenge of (alleged)
global threats" assures new wars besides current ones.
NATO's an US imperial tool. Permanent wars are waged. One follows another.
All involve mass killing, destruction, and enormous profits for corporate
crooks cashing in. Geopolitical issues don't concern them, just bottom
line priorities. America's addiction to war feeds them.
When established in April 1949, NATO called itself a "political and
military alliance for peace and security." It was always for offense,
not defense. Cold War hysteria incited fear to assure an arms race for
profits. Reinvented post-Soviet Russia, they keep flowing.
Its original five members now number 28. They're linked with dozens
of partners. Together they threaten world peace, stability, and survival.
Bogus threats justify NATO's existence. With no real ones around, they're
invented. Wars are based on lies. Profits depend on them. Peace is a
losing proposition. Preventing it at all costs is planned.
Ahead of and during Chicago's summit, the city will be locked down and
militarized. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police officials plan targeting
strategic areas in preparation.
In January, City Council representatives enacted a "Sit Down and Shut
Up" ordinance. It includes required protester group liability insurance,
fines up to $2,000 for those arrested, jail time penalties, strict permit
guidelines, plans to deploy thousands of police and National Guard forces,
and various other requirements.
One demands organizers provide descriptions of "any sound amplification
or other equipment that is on wheels or too large to be carried by one
person and description of the size and dimension of any sign, banner,
or other attention-getting device that is too large to be carried by
one person, to be used in connection with the parade."
"Second to none" is Chicago's newest tourism slogan. Before and during
NATO's summit, it may turn out that way, but not as planned.
Activists fear it may become a level of hell Dante forgot. Longtime
residents hope not. We'll still live here when NATO's gone, and don't
relish coping with its aftermath.
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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