U.S: Blocking the Right to Protest
Not long after the U.S. stepped up illegal methods to quash the “Occupy” protests, Egypt followed suit.
An important victory was scored in Chicago in the defence of the right to protest; in turn, a fresh attack was launched.
On December 12th, permits were granted to the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANG8) for a parade route and tentatively for a rally location on May 19, 2012. CANG8 is mobilizing against the summits of NATO and the G8 occurring in Chicago that weekend.
This is only a partial victory because Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in the same breath that the Secret Service could revoke the permits if they “designate specific security zones or areas…” that include the march route.
On top of this, ordinances designed to severely restrict First Amendment rights of speech and assembly were presented by Emanuel on December 14th. The stated target was to prepare to repress protestors during the summits of NATO and the G8. In response, CANG8 joined with Occupy Chicago, unions, community groups and civil libertarians to defend democratic rights and held a press conference to voice opposition to Emanuel’s ordinances.
On Wednesday, January 18th, the City Council adopted Emanuel’s “Sit Down and Shut Up” ordinance, but the protest movement had defeated a number of the worst features.
Today, we continue to be locked in a major legal and political battle with the City of Chicago and the federal government for the simple right to march and rally against the war and poverty agenda of the NATO/G8 summit meetings planned for May 19-21.
We need your name and generous financial contribution now to place the full-page advertisement that appears below in the Chicago Sun Times in the next few weeks. If you have not already done so, please add you name and contribution for the Sun Times ad, which appears below. Below the ad is also a list of some of the initial signers. While any financial contribution that you are able to make now is appreciated, we hope that you can manage a contribution in the range of $25 – $100 to help pay for the ad.
Again, please send your contribution today and join us in this nationally coordinated effort to obtain formal permits to exercise our Constitutional right to free speech and assembly. No doubt the six months of violence-baiting, threats of mass arrests, militarization of the Chicago Police Force, Chicago officials’ extended refusal to grant CANG8 a simple permit, and the restrictions shoved through the city council have a single objective: to discourage the massive turnout that we are projecting in these times of never-ending wars and attacks on the very fabric of life of people across the globe.
We need to raise around $8,000 in a matter of weeks to cover the cost of the ad and related expenses. You can contribute online via the DONATE button at our website (UNACPeace.org) or by clicking the link below or you can send your check payable to the United National Antiwar Coalition to UNAC, P.O. Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054.