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Call for action: Defend the right to protest against the NATO & G8 summits

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December 9, 2011
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following call from the United National Antiwar Coalition.

Call for action: Defend the right to protest against the NATO & G8 summits

The City of Chicago will host the NATO/G8 Summits in May, 2012. We need the largest, most powerful protests against their wars and impoverishment of people. The Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8) has already made plans for two permitted, family friendly rallies and marches, May 15th and 19th.

We are confident that we will win permits – but not without a struggle for our democratic rights.

The administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, Garry McCarthy, have already sent a message to us that our protests will be met with mass arrests.

CANG8 in Chicago is leading the effort to secure permits. Up until now, the City has not said that they would refuse us permits.

However, on November 9, we learned of the first denial of a permit application.

Back in June, one day after President Obama announced the summits for next year, Joe Iosbaker of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) submitted permit applications for the two dates of the planned protests. After not communicating to Iosbaker for 20 weeks, MB Real Estate Services sent an email that stated that they are not approving any permits for Daley Plaza between May 15 and May 22, 2012 – the exact dates of the NATO/G8 meetings.

MB Real Estate is a contractor working for the Public Building Commission (PBC), which controls Daley Plaza. The Chairman of PBC is Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The blanket denial of permits for Daley Plaza – one of the few public spaces in downtown Chicago that can accommodate large gatherings – illustrates a pattern of actions demonstrating contempt for First Amendment rights by the Emanuel administration and its allies.

Tuesday, December 13th: Take Action

On December 13th, the PBC will meet. We are going to that Commission meeting to tell them:

  • Drop the “no permits restriction” for Daley Plaza during the NATO/G8 summits
  • Respect the right to protest against war & austerity

If you are in Chicago, join us at 2:00 pm at the Daley Center, 50 W. Washington Street.

If you can’t be there, call PBC Chairman Rahm Emanuel – Dial 311 (within Chicago). If calling from outside of Chicago, call: 312.744.5000

Help us deliver the message. Tell his office the same thing we will tell the Board in person.

And make plans to be with us in May. NATO and the G8 meet in secret, yet their decisions have global consequences. The ONLY way to have a voice as an ordinary person is to protest outside the meeting. Otherwise you're not counted and that's what they want.