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Chicago Mayor Emanuel announces major attack on civil liberties

By staff |
December 15, 2011
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Chicago, IL - NATO and the G8 will meet in Chicago in five months. A broad coalition of groups, including Occupy Chicago, is supporting a call for permits to march when all the heads of state are in town.

On Dec. 14, the mayor threatened new laws that would hit protesters with arrests and hefty fines, increase curfews in the parks and give new powers for the superintendent of police to deny the use of video and audio recording equipment, among other powers.

“At a time when the mayor should be granting us permits, because we have the right to march against the criminal bankers and the warmongering generals, he’s taking a step in the wrong direction. He’s trying to take away more rights,” said Joe Iosbaker of the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8).

Iosbaker continued, “We think this is intended to stop people from protesting.”

One day earlier, the mayor told protesters that he would protect their First Amendment rights. He also said, “I…think that…out there is an angst about middle class, working and middle class, holding on to their economic security for themselves and their children.”

Ironically, NATO, the G8, and the Emanuel administration are all carrying out attacks on working class people. The U.S. government and NATO are waging an unjust war in Afghanistan. The bankers of the wealthy nations are forcing poverty on the 99%. Emanuel, like them, is closing schools and clinics, laying off workers, and giving tax breaks to the wealthy.

Iosbaker said, “He can threaten us, but we won’t back down, because we have the right to march against war and austerity.”

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