Tag Archives | Chicago

The Web of NATO, Austerity, Capitalism, Economic Hegemony and Occupy

Natalie Solidarity writes at Diatribe Media:

In perusing the online papers, the concern about the NATO summit in Chicago on May 20–21 is palpable in every word. It sticks to the sweaty skin like newspaper ink. The anxiety and fear is obvious across all strata of society.

Chicago police are already threatening violence against Occupy protesters, as documented in this audio footage of a traffic stop. Anti-protester fear mongering rhetoric abounds in the media. A Crain’s Chicago Business article reported that downtown workers have been recommended to doff their suits and ties in order to avoid becoming targets of protester violence.

The same article reported that several downtown banks will shut down leading up to and during the NATO summit. ABC reports that downtown windows are being covered with shatterproof film, high-rise balconies will be closed, entrances locked, and tenants warned to utilize constant vigilance when living their lives during May 20–21.… Read the rest

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Ask Not What Occupy Can Do For You…

Via Open University of the Left:

With more than 1,400 Occupy sites in the U.S., the success of Occupiers as a social movement and as a force for challenging austerity on the ground — supporting labor union struggles, reversing home foreclosures, opposing deportations, and raising awareness of education cuts and college loans — has raised the inescapable question of “which way forward?”

Mainstream and independent media have been quick to offer the Occupy movement an endless stream of advice. Yet, even when offered with the best intentions, much of this counsel is misguided.

OUL welcomes a panel of Chicago Occupiers to demystify the actions and experience of this creative and vital movement; demonstrate that the movement remains most connected to the needs of its immediate communities, rather then external guidance; and discuss the ways in which Occupy remains open to all levels of commitment by individuals and communities, as these panelists will introduce and outline. Participants were: Joe Macare, Brit Schulte, Rachael Perrotta and Natalie Wahlberg.

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Sweet Home Chicago: G8 Meeting Moved But Protests Will Continue

G8 mapWho called whom first?

Did the Obama alumni Association in Chicago — David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, and Bill Daley — get nervous and call the White House, or was it Barack himself, having disposed/co-opted one threat by the name of Netanyahu, who recognized he had a more serious problem the horizon.

The President has been playing Ronald Reagan these days, talking tough while feinting towards the center. What he most decidedly does not want to do is play Hubert Humphrey and relive the summer of 1968 in Chicago.

That’s why the G8 meeting was shifted from contested ground there to safe space by in the ultra secure, well-guarded environment of Maryland’s Camp David. The last thing The President needs in the middle of his campaign is another police riot in the second city

Someone must have pointed out that the Occupy Movement was already in the process of planning another battle ala Seattle in the very heartland of the Obama Empire.… Read the rest

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Chicago Will Have Eyes In The Sky For G8 Summit

G8Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

Illinois legislators are still wrestling with the issue of average citizens recording police activities on the streets, particularly in regard to the upcoming NATO/G8 demonstrations in May in Chicago. Local law enforcement, however, will be able to keep their eyes and ears trained on anyone planning to protest, and will now be doing it from the friendly windy city skies.

A press release from a company called Vislink revealed that Chicago Fire and Police Department helicopters will be equipped with new airborne surveillance technology ahead of the summits in May:

The airborne units will transmit to four strategically located ground-based receiver sites providing city-wide coverage and the ability to simultaneously receive real-time images from two aircraft for viewing at the OEMC operations center. An additional three receive systems will be installed in the city’s mobile command vehicles to facilitate field operations.

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Chicago Police Want Covert Cameras

CCTV cameraFrom Aaron Cynic at Chicagoist::

The familiar blinking blue light cameras that dot many city streets could get smaller soon, according to an article by the Chicago Tribune. The Tribune reported yesterday that the Chicago Police are considering employing smaller, covert cameras in the hope of further combating crime. According to the article, these cameras could be as small as a thimble. Last month, Police Superintendent Jody Weis said in an interview with WLS, “These can be secreted in locations that nobody would ever detect. It’s amazing where we’re going with technology.” While some may marvel at the applications of such cloak and dagger spy technology, the idea of both overt and covert cameras blanketing the city raises some very serious privacy concerns. Spokesperson for the Illinois ACLU Ed Yohnka said “…there’s a heightened sensibility and concern on the part of citizens when you start talking about things like covert cameras.”

Read the full post at ChicagoistRead the rest

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Chicago’s Camera Network Is Everywhere

William Bulkeley reports on yet another city falling victim to a techno-panopticon, in the Wall Street Journal:

A giant web of video-surveillance cameras has spread across Chicago, aiding police in the pursuit of criminals but raising fears that the City of Big Shoulders is becoming the City of Big Brother.

While many police forces are boosting video monitoring, video-surveillance experts believe Chicago has gone further than any other U.S. city in merging computer and video technology to police the streets. The networked system is also unusual because of its scope and the integration of nonpolice cameras.

The city links the 1,500 cameras that police have placed in trouble spots with thousands more—police won’t say how many—that have been installed by other government agencies and the private sector in city buses, businesses, public schools, subway stations, housing projects and elsewhere. Even home owners can contribute camera feeds.

Rajiv Shah, an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago who has studied the issue, estimates that 15,000 cameras have been connected in what the city calls Operation Virtual Shield, its fiber-optic video-network loop.

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