Tag Archives | OccupyChicago

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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Strategic Missives for Agitation and Occupation

Ralgis (CC)

“The proliferation of political demonstrations and resistance that gained traction under the moniker “Occupy” breathed new life into experimental political practice.

We feel that this development is poised to reinvigorate critical and political theory. Gilles Deleuze once remarked in a conversation with Michel Foucault that, “No theory can develop without eventually encountering a wall, and practice is necessary for piercing this wall.” Deleuze also emphasized that the reverse holds equally true, “Practice is a set of relays from one theoretical point to another, and theory is a relay from one practice to another.”

The arrival of the Occupy movement has broken down barriers encountered in the realm of critical theory. But as it endures and grows, it will continually encounter barriers that will only be overcome by theoretical interventions. The Supplement serves as a cartographer of experimental practices and a depository for theoretical tools.”

Download the PDF at Diatribe Media

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Occupy Chicago: Camaraderie In The Streets; Tenderness In Between Struggles

JeremyA (CC)

Natalie Solidarity writes at Diatribe Media:

Boots on the ground is one aspect of protest, arguably the most fun, most invigorating, and proffers the sentiment that our voices and bodies are transforming the system. With our manic dancing to the song of our unified voices singing, “Ah! Anteee! Anteee-capeeetalista!” in the streets under the ruling class’s nose, how could the public remain unmoved? How can they not join in and support us, even for a moment?

With our energy, spirit, dedication, and words, we are altering reality. We are unstoppable. We are building a better world with every step forward towards the heart of downtown Chicago. When we stand in the streets, screaming for social change, educating and empowering our sisters, brothers and the masses, governing power structures do their best to remove us. Police step in and attempt to silence our voices on behalf of the state by making arrests.… Read the rest

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Solidarity During Wartime in the Streets of Chicago


Photo: Aaron Cynic

Aaron Cynic writes at Shareable.net:

My feet are completely blistered, my bones are sore. I’m dehydrated, bruised and beyond exhausted. I’ve spent four days on the streets of Chicago, running through streets and alleys, cameras strapped to my body, frantically trying to take in as much information about the protests surrounding the NATO summit on Sunday and Monday.

For two days, world leaders gathered in Chicago to discuss what tens of thousands of activists described as the world’s largest game of Risk, where the stakes amount to life and death for citizens around the globe.

Some might accuse me of hyperbole, but considering the massive amount of civilian casualties (including women and children) in countries like Libya and Kosovo, bombed by NATO forces, the silent voices of the dead would probably disagree.

For the average Chicago resident, hosting the NATO summit fell short of what Mayor Rahm Emanuel predicted in nearly every way.… Read the rest

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Chicago #NoNATO Dispatch Day 1

NoNATO Chicago

Photo: Aaron Cynic

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

The day kicked off in a tame but at least celebratory manner at a rally held in Daley Plaza by National Nurses United. After two hours of speeches and wandering around a square grabbing random flyers and other literature, there was no way that at least part of the 3,000 plus people standing on the square were simply going to go home. Everyone knew it, and one could feel a nervous sense of excitement wafting on the air while the last few chords of Tom Morello’s performance rang out.

As people still milled about and I waited to see exactly when an unpermitted march would begin, the Chicago police made what appeared to be a very targeted snatch and grab of a masked protester. According to reports, the police attempted to ask the man a few questions, he refused to answer and was immediately led away in handcuffs.… Read the rest

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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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Police Intimidation Of Occupy Chicago In Advance of NATO Summit?

2012 Chicago SummitChuck Sudo writes at Chicagoist:

With all the concern about anarchists flocking to Chicago in the days before the NATO summit, there’s another narrative of some members of the police department looking for a fight. To that end, here is some video from a group called “NewsPower TV” of some Occupy Chicago protesters allegedly being intimidated with threats of physical violence during the summit by a group of police officers recently. (We ask that you take the video with the same questions we have about its authenticity.)

Chicagoist’s Aaroncynic spoke with one of the people who was involved in the altercation, who said they were pulled over by police while doing a three-point turn in a parking lot at 31st Street and Halsted Street in Bridgeport. Someone in the group captured the exchange between them and the cops with their smartphone and tried to do it discreetly, but you can hear one cop ask if he’s being recorded around the 50-second mark in the video.

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The Wild Unadulterated Joy of Revolt

Natalie W. and Aaron Cynic write at Diatribe Media:

For more than a week, a coalition of Chicago activists including patients and staff from the Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic, representatives from the Mental Health Movement, STOP Chicago, and Occupy Chicago have been protesting the closure of six mental health care facilities as part of austere city budget cuts. In order to save a reported $2.3 million, the city has already closed two neighborhood clinics, and plans to shut down an additional four. Officials argue that by shutting down these facilities, they will be able to restructure and provide more options for consumers and say they’ve invested $500,000 already in expanding services for psychiatric care and plan to increase access to services. Such measures are a kick to the guts of the people most in urgent need of mental health care. Those most wholly affected by this are poor, held hostage by not only their health needs but limited access to funding for care.… Read the rest

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Police Violence Against Occupy the Midwest

Image via Twitter @OccupiersFilm

Image via Twitter @OccupiersFilm

Natalie W writes at Diatribe Media:

An Open Letter To The St. Louis Mayor, Chief of Police, and Media

Dear Mayor Slay and Chief Isom,

My name is Natalie and I’m a member of Occupy Chicago. Please know that I only speak for myself and am not claiming to represent the opinions of Occupy Chicago or any other Occupations. I am however a sister in the global revolution of citizens united to restore power to the people and remove corporate influence over the state, among other initiatives.

On Thursday, March 15, 2012, I watched a livestream feed of Occupy the Midwest and saw my Occupy family was smashed with cold police batons as they attempted to comply with illogical regulation of public land, the space specifically bought and maintained with public dollars. Simply, I watched the footage of senseless violence wrought against as they crossed the street, attempting to obey police orders to disperse from Compton Hill Reservoir Park.… Read the rest

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Direct Action In Action: Occupy Piccolo

Occupy PiccoloAaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

A group of parents, students, teachers and activists occupied an elementary school in Chicago over the weekend to protest what the city calls a “turnaround,” which would shake up the staff and put the school under the authority of the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a private organization opponents say fails to produce results. Parents of students at Piccolo Elementary School in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood voted overwhelmingly against the proposed turnaround measures and developed a counter proposal, but their voices were ignored by City and Chicago Public Schools officials.

About 15 people stayed inside the school, while more than 100 helped to set up tents out front to show solidarity. Despite the cold, a few dozen stayed in shifts throughout the night, and well more than 100 supporters came back the next day to show their solidarity. Despite being denied food and in one person’s case, much needed blood pressure medication, the parents and activists inside remained until Education Vice President Jesse Ruiz met with them to listen to their demands.… Read the rest

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