Tag Archives | Chicago

CPD Still Stonewalling Privacy Advocates On Releasing Information About Surveillance

A Chicago Police officer films protesters and a journalist at the NATO demonstrations in 2012 (photo courtesy of Kate Harnedy)

A Chicago Police officer films protesters and a journalist at the NATO demonstrations in 2012 (photo courtesy of Kate Harnedy)

Aaron Cynic writes at Chicagoist:

Privacy advocates filed another lawsuit yesterday in the ongoing battle to get the Chicago Police Department to provide information on the covert cell phone tracking systems it uses. Activist Freddy Martinez, who has filed similar suits twice before, filed one against the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office yesterday via Loevy and Loevy, a civil rights law firm. According to a press release from the firm, the suit charges the State’s Attorney has:

“Willfully and intentionally violated FOIA by refusing to produce records related to the presentation of evidence obtained through use of cell site simulators on the basis that it would be too ‘burdensome’ and is insufficiently important to justify the work involved to produce the records.”

The Chicago Police Department is one of many law enforcement agencies employing technologies such as Stingray, a brand-name and generic term for a device which mimics cell phone towers and collect data from phone calls, texts and more.… Read the rest

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Chicago’s Austerity Mayor Might’ve Won, But A Progressive Movement Is Percolating

2015_4_9Garcia

Garcia giving his concession speech (photo by Aaron Cynic).

The race for Chicago mayor has wider implications than just how the nation’s third largest city will govern itself for the next four years. The city has long been a testing ground for disastrous “free market” reforms in education and home to many other privatization schemes, which only grew larger under Rahm Emanuel. While another four years with him as mayor could push this agenda forward, the recent electoral race has helped coalesce what could be a powerful movement of resistance.

Aaron Cynic writes at Chicagoist:

During the last four years in office, many have criticized Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s imperial-like qualities. Between his “Mayor 1%” moniker, his style of legislating by press release along with a City Council that voted with him nearly 100 percent of the time, Emanuel garnered a reputation for running Chicago like a king, rather than a mayor.… Read the rest

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Chicago Police Detain Americans at Abuse-Laden ‘Black Site’

Spencer Ackerman writes at the Guardian:

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

  • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
  • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
  • Shackling for prolonged periods.
  • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
  • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.
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Chicago Just Convicted A Thief Using Facial Recognition Technology

Now that the general public knows that they are being watched, may as well reinforce that with confirmation. No need to worry, right? You’ve done nothing wrong.

English: Different Types of Cctv Cameras

Different Types of Cctv Cameras (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

via Vocativ

For years, we’ve been hearing about how facial recognition software will help solve crime.

Privacy concerns aside, this is the idea: If a criminal is caught committing an offense on surveillance footage, the technology could theoretically scan the person’s face and produce a positive ID based on mug shots or DMV photos.

The problem is, the software kind of sucks, partially because surveillance footage is so grainy. This was one of the many subplots that unfolded in the wake of the Boston marathon bombing.

But the technology is getting smarter.

In Chicago, the tech was used—for the first time in the city’s history—to find a crook and lock him up in prison.

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Prepping for Revolution and Awakening with Comedian and Disinfonaut Lee Camp

Via Midwest Real

“I seriously doubt there’s ever been a time like this because things weren’t global… We are in the middle of some exciting times, they’re dangerous times, but it’s really fucking exciting that this many people can wake up and alter the way they live.  We’re looking at the greatest potential that human kind has ever seen in terms of technology and awareness, yet we’re on a path that’s fully and wholeheartedly not living up to that potential.  The gap between our reality and our potential is enormous, which could mean great things.  It could mean a real global awakening in a way.” -Lee Camp

All comedy is not created equal.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m always ready for (and often partaking in) some cheap chuckles facilitated by potty humor, but I have a deeper appreciation for the type of biting satire and commentary that actually opens your mind, forcing you to think whilst giggling.  Read the rest

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Activists Descend On Chicago Hotel To Protest ALEC Conference

Photo by Aaron Cynic

Photo by Aaron Cynic

Aaron Cynic writes at Chicagoist:

Six demonstrators were arrested at the Hilton Palmer House hotel in the Loop for staging a sit-in Monday evening. Dozens of activists held a demonstration in the lobby to protest the upcoming American Legislative Exchange Council conference this week. Calling themselves the Chicago Moral Monday Coalition, demonstrators dropped several banners off the second floor balcony while Rev. Marilyn Pagan Banks, Senior Pastor of Namaste United Church of Christ, spoke:

“The American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC, is one of the great nexi where money and politics meet in order to corrupt our democracy. ALEC brings together corporate lobbyists and state legislators in order to create legislation that promotes big business and the 1% while working to disenfranchise ordinary people.”

The Chicago Moral Monday coalition takes its name after the “Moral Monday” protests in North Carolina, a series of rallies that activists have held in the state for nearly three months to protest varying forms of legislation.… Read the rest

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Former WRC Chicago Member Running For Congressional Office

Luke Rudkowski interviews David Earl Williams III, former WeAreChange Chicago member who is now running for office in his area. David's objective for being in office is to try to reign in government on issues in which is has gotten too involved in people's lives. This includes decriminalizing marijuana to help to bring an end to the biased and failing drug war and also nullifying the NDAA. Find out more about David Earl Williams III:http://dewforcongress2014.com Via WeAreChange
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‘Mapping the Occult City’ Conference Tackles Urban Esotericism

Frequent Disinfo.com contributor David B. Metcalfe will be a moderator at a November 16 conference titled “Mapping the Occult City: Exploring Magick and Esotericism in the Urban Utopia”. The conference will be held  at Chicago’s Richard M. and Maggy C. Dailey Building, and is a joint effort of DePaul University and Phoenix Rising Academy. If you’re near Chicago and enjoy esoteric topics like Ley Lines, occult practices and alchemy, then this could be a pretty fun Friday. Learn more here.

This conference is the first event organised by the Chicago Consortium under the direction of Dr. Jason Winslade. The focus and objectives of this event, as outlined in the Call for Papers, is as follows:
In his classic essay, “Walking in the City,” ethnologist and historian Michel de Certeau distinguished between the “exaltation of a scopic and gnostic drive” that comes from viewing the city from a high vantage point and the quotidian negotiations of the walker at street level, who creates his or her own map, takes shortcuts and resists the strategies of typical urban planning.

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If This Country Is So Free, I Can Burn Your Flag Wherever I Please

Debra Sweet (CC)

Natalie Solidarity and Aaron Cynic write at Diatribe Media:

The Fourth of July celebrates of the birth of the United States, its act of finally breaking free from tyrannical England, represented by a reenactment of bombs exploding in the sky. As a nation, we fetishize the loss of life on both sides while we devour factory-farmed meats, consume liquids bottled in poor countries, and with fireworks, literally burn the money we sweat and toil for. We yearn for a respite from our jobs, the right to liberate ourselves for a day from the chains of our work. We are free to trade our bodies, complete with aches and pains, for money. We consider our country the freest on the Earth, with civil liberties we celebrate and cherish like free speech and assembly shrink wrapped to our right to dissent.

Yet, as the bombs made by laborers cheaply in other countries for our enjoyment burst in the air, the feeling of true liberation dissipates as quickly as the smoke from a municipal fireworks show.

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