» What our team experienced over the weekend while at the Chicago #NoNATO protests

youranonnews:

We arrived late Saturday, into news that some of our allies had been already harassed by the police. We took it in stride and decided that it was best if we save our strength for the next day, Sunday, where the major protests of the weekend were to happen.

We arrived at Grant Park around 0930, hoping to catch the tail-end of Scott Olsen’s speech. Unfortunately, we arrived a bit to late for that and instead we wandered, getting familiar with the area and waiting for allies and Comrades to come. The march started at 1400, and we took up our place amongst the Black Bloc.

All was well and good, even though we were surrounded at all times by literally thousands of police, all dressed for a riot, with their robin’s egg blue helmets. The march went well, though we encountered some anger from the lines of people dressed in orange vests, the “leaders” of the march, we guessed. Their anger befell us as we, the Black Bloc, rushed forward to attempt to gain the front of the march so that the tactics Black Bloc is known for amongst those informed(protecting the marchers from the police) could begin to be employed.

Eventually we came to our destination, McCormick Place, and it is there that the Iraq Veterans Against the War were making their speeches and where the ceremony to give back their NATO tags was to take place. The atmosphere was jovial for a time, though everyone was a bit sore and tired from the march. We took a seat, meeting the people around us, including one character in particular. I will not use names, but he was a veteran turned away from participating in the ceremony by the IVAW because he had not been pre-approved on some mailing list.

We spoke a bit about that, and as we left to obtain some water he asked me for a hug which I gladly obliged. On our quest for water we left the speech-making area and came suddenly to the revelation that the entire place was surrounded by police. The way we went took us past more riot cops than we could count, cops with dogs, cops on horseback, several paddy wagons and the LRAD(s). We got water, hanging out at the medic table for a minute, listening as the speeches began to come to an end.

That is when they began to move in. Their movements caused us to look up, whole battalions of militarized police moving in on the area where the protestors had basically kettled themselves. We took actions immediately, racing back to the protest and human slaloming our way through the crowds to reach those people we knew who were ready to take the necessary steps in warning people, the Black Bloc. 

The speeches still hadn’t come to an end yet, but they would soon, we knew. We began warning everyone of the imminent police actions and attempted to find a way out of the area with the least amount of police. We realized that way was forward, towards where the speaker’s were. Towards where the Cavalry Cops sat atop their helpless, innocent horses with all the cockiness of a cat whose caught its mouse in a trap… or pigs wallowing in mud.

The decision was made to attempt to leave the protest towards the East. The completely opposite direction the police were now airing over the LRAD. We refused, we actively said no to being kettles as such and began a push to move forward past the riot police. It happened so quickly, though I knew we were a meter, maybe less away from the trampling hooves of the pig’s slaves. We pushed and pushed and pushed, at one point I was asked if I was trying to leave. I said no, and the gentleman who asked me gave a hearty whoop and redoubled efforts to push the person in front of him back against the tide of riot police, pushing us back. Those of us at the front of the effort were well near trapped between the protestors behind us and the pigs in front of us.

That was at which point we decided to leave the mass, deciding that my medic’s skills were going to be more useful outside of it. I had already treated two people for dehydration and over-exertion. That is when things became crazy.

As we pushed out of the mass, guided by the path created by the words “We’re trying to leave!” we heard the cries of “MEDIC!” I stopped, looked around, and it was at that point a small girl was led up to me. She was barely able to stand on her own and the person with her said she had taken a police baton to the head. We jumped into action, fireman carrying the girl out of the danger zone as I screamed at the line of riot police to get the fuck out of our way, the girl has a head injury.

We got out, and laid her on the ground. She was shaking so much that the medics with me all agreed it looked like she was having a seizure. I took off her sunglasses, which I still have, and checked her eyes. I called a concussion and told the medics with me to try and get her to an ambulance. It was then I got pulled away, to treat another.

This one had an obvious head injury, pouring blood from both his mouth and his nose, bright red staining the white shirt he was wearing. We had him sit down in the area behind the riot cops we thought was safe, and as we began to treat him things all around us changed. We found ourselves being threatened with the weight of thousands of protestors as the police began to push them back in our direction. 

We made sure he was okay and got up and moved quickly to the sidewalk after the patient began refusing additional care. We began to clear a space for the medics to work on the sidewalk, again thinking it was a safe place, or at least safer than inside the pit. We recruited some of the Black Bloc to help us, and they did so excellently, until the riot police decided the sidewalk was no longer an area of free speech. We were told we couldn’t be there, we told them we were medics who needed an area to treat people. They obviously didn’t care about the people they were wounding.

The decision was made to attempt to find an area a bit farther away from the center of the violence to treat patients. Black Bloc assisted the medics getting them and their patients to a safer area. We stayed behind, on the sidewalk, now vocally airing our grievances at the pigs. We continued to do so until the police started to actively move us out of the area, passing a line of riot police heading in the opposite direction. The last one on the line had been arguing with a girl a few feet away, and as I passed him he said “Keep being a fucking bitch.”

This was the first such harassment I saw and experienced at the hands of the “professional” Chicago Police Department. On the walk back to our meeting area I was harassed numerous times, sexually, by the Chicago PD. I had stripped off my shirt, being that it was nearly 90 degrees outside and terribly humid, staying legal in my bra. I have learned not to expect any less from those pigs whose testosterone levels threaten to burst out of their nut sacks.

Once we reached our meeting place we realized it was not the greatest area. Across the street they were holding the NATO dinner, as our luck would have it. We attempted to contact our Comrades and then were left in the dark once all our tech had died. We waited for a few hours, engaging in conversations with both the people there on purpose and the people stuck there by the closing of the city for several blocks in all directions. We met another few anarchists, a female in that group whose head was shaved to a mohawk sharing her own story of police sexual abuse. Two cops had come up behind her, one of them grabbing her breasts, the other making comments such as “Is that a man, or a woman? I can’t tell!” though she was quite pretty in the alternative sense. 

Finally, we realized that our group wasn’t going to be able to come to us and so we listened to the police radios, waiting for news. When we finally got it we sprang to action and began our hunt to find the march. Eventually, we did, and our Comrades, too. They shared stories of the medic area being cleared out by riot police, heads nearly bashed in, and one cop in particular who broke and began going crazy, swinging his club wildly like a caveman hoping to score a date.

We decided to try and return to the place we were staying. On this journey we encountered many, many police from all over the country. North Carolina and Texas were represented, and so was Detroit. We got slightly lost and the workers at one of the stations told us we needed to take the underground. To do so we had to walk through an intersection that had at least 10 riot police on every single corner. That didn’t phase us…. at least not until 8 of them followed us down into the subway station.

They barked “What do you think you’re doing here?!” To which we smartly replied “Trying to take the train.” Their retort would have made us laugh had we not been nearly alone with 8 riot police, all armed with guns, batons, and badges allowing them to do whatever they pleased to us. They said “This station is closed” we said “What about the people going in and out of it right now?” with a point to a young man who was going through the gate and several people coming out of it. The pig in charge, or at least the one on the phone with his superior, then basically yelled at us as we attempted to leave “HOLD ON. WE ARE GOING TO MAKE SURE YOU GET ON THIS TRAIN.”

At this we were extremely cautious, they outnumbered us by far and our previous experiences with the Chicago PD made me think we were going to get the shit beaten out of us at any second. But we obliged because it was the safer option. All 8 of the riot pigs followed us the next level down to the platform, though once down there 4 of them left. They glared at us for what felt like hours, but was probably less than 10 minutes.

Once on the train we breathed a sigh of relief, laying out in the seats like we owned the damn place. After all, we felt we earned it, a nice air-conditioned train ride after miles of marching and police violence. At the next stop, an officer glanced in our window. Our relief faded quickly back into apprehension as the man stepped on the train and asked who the owner of the black medic bag, gas mask attached, was.

We were pulled off the train and searched, forced to give information that I was thankfully able to fabricate due to my lack of identification. This ordeal lasted maybe 20 minutes, in which he only took down MY (false) information and didn’t even search my bags like he said he would. We were interrogated about the gas mask, but my response stayed “I brought this today because I am used to police being vicious. I am expecting to be tear gassed by YOU, not my friends.”

Eventually he let us go, leaving us on the platform to wait for the next train. Thus concluded our first day at the #NoNATO protests.

Our second day started and the ball got rolling quickly. We quickly obtained spots at the very front of the march, ready to help lead it and the chants. It was an epic day, especially relative to the previous police-on-protestor massacre which resulted in no less than 20 serious head injuries from what we could gather.

The police were there, but they showed up without their helmets. We heard this was because even the MSM was being sympathetic to the unarmed, unprotected protestors getting their faces smashed in courtesy of the Chicago Police Department. To our knowledge there was only one incident on the march, when we attempted to help a Black Bloc member who was being targeted by the police escape the crowd. He, unfortunately, did not make it.

It was then we finally got back to(or near) Grant Park and learned that we, ourselves, were being targeted by the police for pre-emptive action. We were told by several people that they had heard and seen the Sgt Pig pointing us out to his fellow barn animals. We bounced with the quickness after learning this, not wanting to be arrested for the fear that they would learn who we truly were. And thus came to close our second day of the #NoNATO protests.

(Emphasis mine.)

locksandglasses:

mybutbeautiful:

America… You are playing a very dangerous game

Oh cool -___-

Don’t forget there’s a petition, guys:

Change.org started a petition to try and get the charges against Morgan dropped. Occupy Chicago threw their support behind Morgan as well.

(Source: atane)

» They Lied

From AMERICABlog:

"Hey, a quick request that we’re only sending to folks we know in Illinois.  We’d like Landmark Theatres to show a new gay-themed documentary at their cinema in Chicago, and we’re contacting folks in the area to ask for your help in showing Landmark that there’s strong support in the progressive community for seeing this new film in both Chicago and nationwide.

We’d like to ask that you send a short, quick email to Landmark letting them know you’re from the area and interested in seeing Question One at their theater in Chicago.

Email: Q1Landmark@gmail.com

The documentary is called “Question One,” and it’s by gay filmmaker Joe Fox and his business partner, James Nubile. It’s about the successful religious right/Catholic-led effort to repeal marriage equality in the state of Maine in 2009.  The documentary is particularly timely because we have marriage on the ballot in numerous states this year, and this documentary proves that our foes have been lying to the voters in order to take away rights. (More background on the film at the bottom of this email.)

Landmark Theatres is the largest art house theater chain in the US, it would be a big deal for the gay community, and the marriage cause, to get this documentary shown at their cinemas nationwide.

Send your email to: Q1Landmark@gmail.com

Joe and James have already pitched Landmark, and now we’re working with them to make the case that there’s strong community interest in the film, as part of the larger pitch for why it makes business sense to show it nationwide.

Just send a quick email to Landmark telling them where you’re from and that you’d be interested in seeing the documentary “Question One” in their theaters.  That’s it.  The emails will be collected and hand-delivered to the appropriate folks at Landmark.  And remember, this is not about pressuring Landmark, not at all. It’s simply about showing them that there is real interest out there in seeing this documentary, and that it makes business sense for them to show it.

Send your email to: Q1Landmark@gmail.com

That’s it.

Now here’s some more background:

Question One is the story of the campaign to repeal/save marriage equality in Maine back in 2009.

Produced and directed by gay film maker Joe Fox and his co-producer/director James Nubile, the movie takes the approach of following both campaigns, the good and bad (as it were), from behind the scenes, up until election night. I saw it last fall and thought it was really well done, in addition to quite damning of the religious right.

Now, we’ve teamed up with Joe F. and James to ask Landmark to show the movie. Given all the intensity around marriage equality across the country, the timing couldn’t be better. What’s most interesting about the documentary is that even though it’s “fair” - both sides get to tell their story - the anti-gay campaign does a bang-up job of indicting themselves by the end of the film. Their campaign manager, Mark Mutty (who works for the Catholic Diocese of Maine), makes it clear that they lied to the people of Maine in order to take away our civil rights. And the mastermind behind the lies was Frank Schubert, who did the same thing on Prop. 8 (won by telling voters the lie that we were coming after their children) - and, no doubt, will again. The admissions are damning. And that’s one good reason for anyone who is interested in the quest for marriage equality to see this film.

Here’s a six minute trailer of the film.

Here’s a report from Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald:

[Mutty] insists that the central campaign theme for “Yes on 1” – that same-sex marriage, if not repealed, would be required teaching throughout Maine’s public schools – was “hyperbole” and “not a completely accurate statement and we all know it isn’t.”….

New York City-based filmmakers Joe Fox and James Nubile were allowed in with their cameras by both sides – giving the documentarians, and now us, a strikingly unvarnished view of what went on behind the scenes during those oh-so-divisive days two years ago.

Here’s my blog post explaining even more about the documentary.

Click here if you’d like to share my blog post/action alert on Twitter, to help us get more emails.

And click here to share the post/action alert on Facebook.

Thank you so much, as always.

JOHN ARAVOSIS
AMERICAblog
Washington, DC”

petitions:

(via Chicago, don’t bypass the unemployed! - The Petition Site)

"unemployed need not apply"

….my mind is full of fuck

» Fire the Police Officer Who Brutally Beat an Autistic Teen

From ThePetitionSite:

"Oscar Guzman, a 16-year-old suffering from autism, was watching the pigeons outside his parents’ restaurant in Chicago when suddenly police chased him down and beat him with their clubs. He was sent to the hospital with a four centimeter laceration to his head.

Oscar’s family filed a lawsuit against the City Council, but so far there have been no actions to prevent further uncalled-for police brutality from occurring again.»

The Chicago police force needs to send a clear message to their officers that needless force is unacceptable, particularly when dealing with civilians with special needs.

The police officers involved in the beatings must also be fired. For a police officer to club a boy with special needs who was just watching pigeons is not just irresponsible; it is downright immoral.

Sign this petition to tell the Chicago Police Department to hold the officers involved accountable for their disgraceful actions. »


Thanks for taking action!

Rachel M.
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team”

» MAYORS HEART YOU – EQIL Rolls Out Mayors for Freedom to Marry Campaign

From Equality Illinois:

"EQIL joined with the national marriage equality group Freedom to Marry to roll out the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry campaign, which was officially announced at the U.S. Council of Mayors meeting on Friday, January 20 in Washington, D.C.

The Mayors for the Freedom to Marry campaign is launching with 70 mayors from cities all across the country who vowed to support full marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. Locally, EQIL has taken the lead in the joint effort to sign on Mayors Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, Elizabeth Tisdahl of Evanston, and Robert Sabonjian of Waukegan as early supporters of the campaign, with more mayors from across the state expressing interest.

For more information, visit the Mayors for the Freedom to Mary page here.”

» Banks plundered America. Will Tuesday bring justice?

From the Courage Campaign:

During Tuesday’s State of the Union address, we will likely learn whether big banks like Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase will pay for the plunder of America’s homeowners. After a year of secret negotiations among the 50 state attorneys general, including a walk out by California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris, it all comes down to this.

Demand the President and AG Harris make good on their promise of “Change” by making the Big Banks pay for their crimes. Final negotiations are happening at this very moment.

In the fall — thanks to the support of more than 25,000 Courage members — AG Harris rejected another bank bailout, a grotesque deal that would have denied justice to millions of Americans and provided almost no compensation to defrauded California homeowners. On Monday, she’ll be in Chicago to meet again with the other 49 state attorneys general, and they will decide whether to accept a deal that insiders claim has improved since September.

Show President Obama and AG Harris that you know what is at stake. Sign our petition demanding that any settlement reflect these five principles:

1. widespread and fairly applied principal reduction,
2. narrow release of liability,
3. overhaul and reform of industry servicing practices,
4. strict, independent, and robust enforcement mechanisms,
5. and assurance that homeowners who were kicked out of their homes without due process will receive fair, ample restitution.

Over the next few months, more than 100,000 Californians may lose their homes, people like Donna Vieira of San Leandro who has clear evidence that Wells Fargo defrauded her the moment she signed her mortgage papers. This is just the beginning. Courage Campaign will continue working with its many partners to protect homeowners, including the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), but if our President fights for the values that he proclaimed when running for office, the America’s middle-class will be much closer to the justice it deserves.

Sign on and share will your friends. Every moment counts.

Yours in the fight for economic justice,

Rick Jacobs
Chair and Founder, Courage Campaign”

» TWO Slams Chicago Archbishop Francis George in Full-Page Chicago Tribune Ad

From Truth Wins Out:

"Thanks to you, pressure is mounting on Chicago Archbishop Francis George after he foolishly smeared the LGBT Community by linking it to the KKK.

With your help, TWO’s petition
calling on George to resign already has more than 4,000 signatures!

Today, Nearly 500 students at St. Norbert’s College, in De Pere, Wis., have signed an online petition asking the college to replace George as its commencement speaker. If you have not yet signed both petitions, please do so and forward them along to friends and family members.

To keep up the increasing pressure and expose George’s lies, TWO is placing a full-page ad in this Sunday’s Chicago Tribune headlined, “Hey, Cardinal Francis George, Gay is not like the KKK.” The ad debunks the misinformation disseminated by the Archbishop about the LGBT community.

If you are like me, you want to stand up to bullies like George and fight back against the defamation, smears, slander, and lies regularly hurled against LGBT people. Our partners, our spouses, and our children deserve better than to be compared to the Ku Klux Klan. Let’s do something about it!

Please help us fund this ad today with an end of year tax-deductible contribution to Truth Wins Out.  Only though your generosity and support can we continue to be a strong voice for fairness and equality.  
 

Truth Wins Out

Post Office Box 96

Burlington, VT 05402 “

» Call Cardinal George

From Equality Illinois:

"Chicago’s Cardinal George crossed a line this week when he made an outrageous statement in reference to a local priest’s concern about the possible new pride parade’s route. "You don’t want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism," George said. The comments came during an interview with Fox Chicago. [Full story: http://tinyurl.com/6rhzpnk]

For the Cardinal to equate the LGBT movement to a hate group that used violence and terror against racial, religious and ethnic groups, is beyond words and comprehension. His statement runs completely contrary to the spirit of the holiday season and all norms of decency and he should apologize. The Cardinal is not only out line, he is out of touch with his OWN community as a majority of Catholics support LGBT equality.  

Please call the Cardinal’s office (312-534-8230) and demand an apology for this offensive and hurtful statement.

Thank you for taking action on this very important issue! 

Very truly yours,

Bernard Cherkasov
Chief Executive Officer”

» Serve the City of Chicago!

From Equality Illinois:

Scores of well-qualified openly-lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender Chicagoans have already been appointed to serve their city in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration. As Mayor Emanuel continues to build the strongest possible team to tackle the City’s challenges, The Chicago Appointments Project is looking to identify more well-qualified openly LGBT candidates for positions in the Mayor’s administration.

The Chicago Appointments Project
aims to assemble a talent bank of openly LGBT professionals seeking opportunities to serve in the Mayor’s administration both as senior staff and on numerous boards and commissions. Whether you are a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, if you have ever considered public service, now is the time to share your expertise and give our community a voice at the table.

The Chicago Appointments Project is a collaborative effort between Equality Illinois, the Human Rights Campaign, the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute, as well as community leaders, and seeks to recruit and engage qualified members of the LGBT community to serve the City of Chicago and the Mayor.
The Chicago Appointments Project has established great working relationships with Mayor Emanuel and his top staff. 

Please register or submit your resume at
www.eqil.org/appointments.html. If you have specific questions, then please reach us at CAP@eqil.org.

The Chicago Appointments Project 
is modeled after and builds upon the highly successful Presidential Appointments Project of the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute that has led to the appointment of more than 150 LGBT people in the Obama Administration. 

Very truly yours,
Bernard Cherkasov
Chief Executive Officer”