Institutions rarely vote themselves out of existence. Not if they still have money in their budgets. Large institutions in particular have an almost genetic propensity to cling to life even after their reasons for being have vanished. That’s why I don’t expect NATO, which will gather in Chicago later this month, to suddenly declare game … Continued
McCormick Place, site of the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago, Illinois. Operation Red Zone, a security perimeter around the site, will be patrolled by federal law enforcement carrying “non-lethal” guns. (Photo: Chicago Man) If there is going to be a dress rehearsal for the coming NATO summit in Chicago, May Day is it. The first … Continued
Chicago, Illinois. (Photo: Merrick Brown) When it was announced in March that the G-8 summit would not take place in Chicago as scheduled, but instead Camp David, Occupy Wall Street activists declared victory. After all, it was Occupy that had been making waves all fall, threatening to tarnish some of the glossiest public facades of the most powerful companies and figures in the world, and it is Occupy that is working to organize thousands of protesters expected to flood Chicago next month in anticipation of NATO and (at the time) G-8.
Dear friends of ordinary 99 percent Afghans, We thank you for your love and your hands and feet, in organizing for the upcoming Chicago protests! In these killing days, we in Afghanistan do not expect the interests of people to triumph over self-interests. But your efforts prove that another world is possible. However, respectfully, late … Continued
Demonstrators protest against NATO in Strasbourg, France, April, 2009. (Photo: Jos van Zetten) The leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the gently named but dangerous behemoth dominated by the United States – and history’s largest global military cohort – plan to meet in Chicago on May 20 and 21. The tiny fraternity of concentrated wealth and power that calls itself the Group of Eight (G8) was to have met in Chicago in mid-May as well, overlapping with NATO. Fearing massive protests, the G8 cancelled, retreating to Camp David, Maryland, chased out of town by a coalition of dissidents, activists and agitators. Isolated and inaccessible, Camp David is where the “leaders” of the planet’s eight wealthiest countries belong – sequestered and remote, barricaded and cut off in every imaginable way. The Camp David move illuminates the elite’s isolation from the people they pretend to represent.
Taking nearly everyone by surprise, the White House announced last Monday that the world’s economic leaders with the G8 would not be enjoying the sights and sounds of a democratic #ChicagoSpring. The announcement that the G8 would be skipping President Obama’s hometown in favor of the much more remote and secure Camp David location reveals the fears the administration has of public assembly and popular protest.
(Illustration: Jared Rodriguez / The Occupied Chicago Tribune) It’s not you, it’s me, said the White House in announcing their plan to move May’s G8 summit from Chicago to Camp David. They needed their space, they explained, “to facilitate a free-flowing discussion with our close G-8 partners.” But in reality, we all knew: It was us. Groups from Chicago and around the country have been organizing for months to respond to the twin G8 and NATO summits–closed-door meetings of the global 1% to collaborate on economic and military policy–and both sides recognized the likelihood that this rare meeting of guns and cash would be confronted by the roar of an angry citizenry. The prospect of such a response, and the political context in which it will take place, was enough to force the Obama administration to reconsider bringing the G8 summit to the president’s hometown and the site of his re-election campaign headquarters.