The 99% Spring

It’s coming:

From April 9-15 we will gather across America, 100,000 strong, in homes, places of worship, campuses and the streets to join together in the work of reclaiming our country.  We will organize trainings to:

Tell the story of our economy: how we got here, who’s responsible, what a different future could look like, and what we can do about it

Learn the history of non-violent direct action, and

Get into action on our own campaigns to win change.

This spring we rise! We will reshape our country with our own hands and feet, bodies and hearts. We will take non-violent action in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi to forge a new destiny one block, one neighborhood, one city, one state at a time.

via The 99% Spring.

Let’s see… April 9th through the 15th… if only there was something these folks could be training for.  Maybe something going on say, a month later.  Maybe if there was a big gathering of heads of state and other world leaders and if maybe it was going to take place in May somewhere.

Oh, May in Chicago is going to be one wild ride.  Hang on to your hats ’cause in the Windy City it’s surely going to blow.

Businesses Get the Old Yes No on the G-8/NATO Summits

Well which is it?

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was asked Thursday whether businesses located within the inner-most security perimeter will have a process to recover lost profits incurred during the May 19-21 events at McCormick Place.

“The [NATO and G-8] Host Committee is working on it. They’ll have a process for that,” he answered.   …

Later, after some reflection:

His answers to the questions, once reported online Thursday, set off a flurry of denials. A spokeswoman issued a statement saying: “We have no plans to reimburse businesses – the city is open for business.”

When Jennifer Martinez, a spokeswoman for the NATO and G-8 Host Committee, was asked about compensation, she said: “The plan is for all businesses to be open. We do not anticipate businesses being closed. We will not reimburse businesses that decide to close on their own.”

via Chicago Sun-Times.

Oh, I see.  I guess they didn’t want businesses closing to protect themselves and their employees from what might be 50,000 nutty protesters.  I mean, other businesses are going to be doing just that:

Already, DePaul University has decided to close its Loop campus on the day before and the day after the summits and deny access to classrooms, labs, the cafeteria and offices in the Loop campus over a four-day period.

That seems a bit extreme for a private university.  If there’s one thing the protesters understand it’s education.  They want more of it for free.  So why bother a university?  Maybe DePaul knows something they’re not telling.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has said it has “extensive contingency plans” that would allow its employees to “work from home” or from an “off-site location” in the event that demonstrations turn ugly during the summits.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is an old building that has few doors and no windows.  It has it’s own very intense security barriers between the street and the building itself and 24 hour armed guards in the adjacent alley.  It is a fortress.  And yet this place is making plans for employees to work from home or from an off-site location. If this place ain’t safe what chance does the rest of the city have?

And the Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier this week that the civil courtrooms at the Daley Center … could be closed down for security reasons in the days surrounding the unprecedented gathering of world leaders.

Earlier this month, United Airlines employees worried about how they will get to Willis Tower during the summits questioned Emanuel during a roundtable about the potentially $65 million event expected to turn the world spotlight on Chicago.

So it’s safe to say that a lot of people appear to have some very reasonable concerns.  It’s not a much ado about nothing situation.

The mayor played down the inconvenience by describing the summits as a “weekend” event, conveniently ignoring the fact that protesters and world leaders are likely to arrive days before the meetings begin.

But, what was it that the protesters were saying again?  Oh ya…

On May 1, 50,000 people from all over the world will flock to Chicago, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and #OCCUPYCHICAGO for a month.

via AdBusters.

Note to Rahm:  It’s not the Heads of State breaking windows, blocking traffic, and starting squad cars on fire that people worry about.  It the protesters.  And they plan to be here for a month.


Lawyers for Occupy Say Crackdown was Practice

Lawyers for dozens of Occupy Chicago protesters arrested in Grant Park said Wednesday that the mass arrests amounted to a “dry run” by the Emanuel administration for handling protests during the G-8 and NATO summits in May.

“This was Mayor Rahm Emanuel being Mr. Tough Guy to show the world that they could come to the G-8 and NATO,” said attorney Thomas Durkin, who represents a dozen of the 94 defendants seeking to have their cases dismissed

via Chicago Tribune.

Hello pot, meet kettle.

Occupy Chicago Gets a Home

Occupy Chicago has secured a new home base to coordinate its winter activities.  The group is leasing two units on the fifth and seventh floors of Riverfront Work Lofts at 500 W. Cermak Road.  …

The fifth-floor unit is nearly 3,400 square feet, while the seventh-floor unit is about 2,500 square feet.  Kaunert said protesters will use the units for office space and not for temporary overnight lodging.  The lease terms were not immediately clear, but a previous post on the group’s website said the combined monthly rent would be about $5,600.

via Chicago Tribune.

This is interesting.  Nearly 7,000 sq-ft for office space?  That could be offices for 100 or more people.  That’s a lot of “office help” for a group of hippies who want to camp in the park.

And who’s funding all this?  $5,600/mo through May is a lot of money for a bunch of kids using Twitter to organize a protest.

Looks like this post had it right.


I found a post on Second City Cop about the madness coming this spring.  SCC was concerned that the kids were going to “live without dead time for a month in May and see what happens.”  Hardly a threat.

What I found interesting was their claim that:

On May 1, 50,000 people from all over the world will flock to Chicago, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and #OCCUPYCHICAGO for a month. With a bit of luck, we’ll pull off the biggest multinational occupation of a summit meeting the world has ever seen.

via Adbusters.

Really?!  50,000 protesters?  Do they have any idea what a hotel costs in this town?  Where are they all going to stay?  Oh, wait… they have a plan:

And this time around we’re not going to put up with the kind of police repression that happened during the Democratic National Convention protests in Chicago, 1968 … nor will we abide by any phony restrictions the City of Chicago may want to impose on our first amendment rights.

What exactly are “phoney restrictions”?  Would those be the laws that you simply disagree with?  I see.  Occupy the parks.

And if they don’t listen … if they ignore us and put our demands on the back burner like they’ve done so many times before … then, with Gandhian ferocity, we’ll flashmob the streets, shut down stock exchanges, campuses, corporate headquarters and cities across the globe … we’ll make the price of doing business as usual too much to bear.

The completely misappropriate reference to Gandhi aside; do you think they care at all about the rights of the good hard working people who live here and don’t want them shutting down the streets that we use to pick our kids up from school, get to the hospital, visit our parents?

I think a whole lotta people are going to get hurt.