It’s NATO week in Chicago. The Occupiers, anarchists, socialists, unions, and other professional protesters are in the process of “couch-surfing” their way into town (for those who aren’t occupying foreclosed housing) for the NATO summit that officially takes place May 20-21.
Yesterday, eight protesters who were part of around twenty people who protested the Obama campaign headquarters downtown volunteered to be arrested:
About 20 protesters made it up the escalators from the lobby to the second floor, where their attempt to reach Obama’s campaign offices stalled when security guards shut down banks of elevators. The rest remained in the lobby, singing and handing fliers to passing office workers as a dozen uniformed police stood behind them. Outside, a phalanx of bicycle officers lined the sidewalk.
One of the main protest goals is to use the media to illustrate a violent crackdown on their actions. And the media is complicit, reporting on their “peaceful” protests. Marching down the streets chanting “F— the police” is not peaceful.
The “Chicago Spring” website shows a clenched fist with the Chicago “L” subway lines streaming out of it.
Numerous trainings from last fall to this week are aiding the protesters in how to interact with and manipulate their interactions with the police. For example, the following training occurred this past Sunday:
How To Disarm A Police Officer: Strategy and Tactics For Dealing With Law Enforcement On The Front Line
When Sun, May 13, 7:30pm – 8:15pmWhere Unit 501, 500 W. Cermak (map)Description “How To Disarm A Police Officer: Strategy and Tactics For Dealing With Law Enforcement On The Front Lines” The police have numbers and weapons, while activists are armed with their brains, their voices, and the justice of their cause. This workshop considers how activists can leverage their advantages to minimize law enforcement’s interference with their activism. Jerry Boyle is a Chicago lawyer who has worked with many groups, none of which are eager to have their names associated with this particular presentation.
Domestic terrorist turned University of Illinois professor Bill Ayers taught “nonviolent direct action” to Chicago Occupy last fall in the following video, where he laughed at the notion of Occupiers acting lawfully. When one questioner asks if they will need to resort to violence in order to achieve a real revolution (at 4:32 mark), Ayers says:
What I would say is that violence is built in–do i think you should resort to violence? Absolutely not. I think you should use your brilliance, your humor, your wisdom, your body to dramatize the violence that actually exists….the revolution that I have in mind is one where we–a real revolution involves masses of people transforming itself….but I do think there will be some times where we get into a trick bag where we’re supposed to be somehow pristine and precious and somebody like Barack Obama…is saying ‘I want you all to be nonviolent.” Well I want YOU to be nonviolent.
In the meantime, the storefronts on Michigan Avenue, the main boulevard in Chicago, and surrounding areas are preparing for the “nonviolence” by covering every inch of exposed windows with plexi-glass:
Protest organizer Andy Thayer also painted the potential of violence as coming from the police in an interview with one of the leaders of Occupy Chicago, Micah Philbrook, who said:
The sheer fact of it is, as far as Occupy Chicago stands , we’re in solidarity with everyone who’s comign out to protest NATO. From the Democrats to the Unions to the radicals that show up, we all have grievances…violence, like Andy said, is routinely done by the state and the police….we are a peaceful, nonviolent movement. All of the coordination we’ve done is stressing nonviolent political action, centered firmly in nonviolence.
An employee of BMO-Harris reports that the company sent out an emailing stressing that employees not show up to work in suits, but rather dress down to avoid being targeted.
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