Worldwide heads of the National Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), military generals, heads of state from the alliance’s twenty-eight member countries will be coming to Chicago for a summit on May 20-21. The city will be put on lockdown all so the military arm of the G8—a group that can dial up a “humanitarian intervention” or war when it wants it—can further expand their military agenda and plot the next steps of perpetual war for Afghanistan and the wider Asian continent at the McCormick Place convention center.
I am in Chicago and will be covering developments during and in the buildup to the summit. Infrastructure for security is already going up. Shedd Aquarium employees are planning on moving in during the summit. Another train line that runs into and out of Chicago is adopting tight and unnecessary security measures. Parking restrictions have already gone into effect. Eight-foot-tall barricades are being rolled out for McCormick Place. Protests by people who have come to Chicago to show the world that not all US citizens consent to NATO have begun.
Here’ are updates of actions related to the upcoming summit:
—Four arrested in immigrant rights protest at ICE headquarters in Chicago
Occupy Chicago and others engaged in a “No Human is Illegal” protest against “Juan Crow” laws that “destroy lives and break up families.” They marched and gathered at the headquarters for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Chicago. In solidarity with immigrants, they denounced the “unjust and inhumane decisions” that immigration judges make on a daily basis, which result in deportations.
According to the Chicago Tribune, four people were arrested. The protest went on for an hour outside the building before management had police get on the bullhorn and order them to leave the property. A few proceeded to engage in civil disobedience and were arrested and two people were arrested on a march that left the scene shortly after. The Tribune reports that Federal Protective Services were on the scene monitoring the protest.
—Out-of-state police come to Chicago to patrol protests
The Chicago Sun-Times reports police from Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, will be here to help the city with protesters. They will join “as many as 700 state troopers” and “dozens of suburban officers.” Milwaukee is sending 100 officers. Philadelphia is sending 68 officers. The officers coming to Chicago from Charlotte will be getting experience handling a “National Special Security event” that they will then be able to use when Charlotte hosts the Democratic National Convention September 3-6 of this year.
—Boeing employees are told to work from home next Monday
The company that has been called the “CIA’s travel agency,” is, according to NBC Chicago, encouraging all of its five hundred or so employees to work “remotely” from home on Monday, May 21. This is because a major protest is planned for the day and thousands are expected to descended on Boeing’s headquarters to protest the manufacturer’s production of military equipment.
—The bodyguard battalion has purchases a “high-tech video camera device” to provide security
From Crain’s Chicago Business, Paul Merrion reports the US Army’s Protective Service Battalion, which guards the Defense Secretary and other top Pentagon and State Department officials, will have “high-tech security gear” to help with security. It is a special video camera that was procured from Gans Pugh & Associates.
Here’s what the Army bought: a “Panther P4Me-u-Intrusion & Video System Kit, and integrated wireless and/or hardwired video monitoring and intrusion detection system with monitor with alarms, integrated Dual Channel SD Card DVR, Integrated Quad Band GS/Remote Monitor, 2 camera indoor RACyl wireless cam Kit, 2 cameras indoor RACyl wired camera kit, lens kit for RACyl Camera, 2 indoor 55 Deg Remote head Wired Cameras, Over-pack Rolling Case, 20 Micro view w/lock II video scrambling.”
—Media here in Chicago continue to publish violence-baiting articles on protesters.
The local CBS affiliate has a story that they published under the headline, “Protest Organizer: Violence by NATO Outweighs Any Violence Over Summit.” They quote lead protest organizer Andy Thayer, “I think any discussion of violence that focuses on what’s happening here in Chicago so totally misses the boat…I’d like you guys to start putting out statistics such as the record number of Afghans who lost their lives in America’s war – the longest-ever war – last year.” And they end with a quote that is surely taken out of context: “Yes, there will be some conveniences. There may even be some violence.”
Not only does that probably misrepresent what he said, it seems to have been written down incorrectly. Thayer probably said “inconveniences,” not conveniences. Thayer was probably talking about police committing violence. There is nothing about police attached to this quote. It is dangling out in thin air with no qualifiers. But this isn’t surprising. Media have been trying to get every protester they interview to give them some sensational nugget they can run that shows they got the scoop on where violence is going to happen this weekend.
—NATO uses summit invitation to badger and intimidate Pakistan into opening NATO supply routes.
Pakistan has been extended a last-minute invitation to attend the summit. The invitation is being extended as a way to convince Pakistan to reopen NATO supply routes that have been closed as a way of trying to leverage power against the United States. Pakistan has been engaged in talks with US, where they are trying to get the US to stop drone strikes or respect the country’s sovereignty and let the country launch attacks on “suspected militants.”
—Secrecy News has obtained a congressional report that indicates what will be the main summit agenda
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) report reads:
- Defining the next phase of formal transition in Afghanistan and shaping a longer term NATO commitment to the country after the planned end of combat operations by the end of 2014;
- Securing commitments to maintain and develop the military capabilities necessary to meet NATO’s defense and security goals, including through a new “Smart Defense” initiative; and
- Enhancing NATO’s partnerships with non-NATO member states.
Here is Col. Ann Wright at the People’s Summit, which Occupy Chicago recently hosted. She talks about how NATO is essentially a front for US wars and foreign policy that gives the US the ability to say it is not going it alone when it takes action.
And here is my presentation at the People’s Summit on what WikiLeaks revealed about the Afghanistan War. I talk about revelations but also get into how the American public reacts to soldiers that reveal what is really happening in a war zone. The presentation concludes with a side-by-side comparison of platitudes uttered by President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush on the “war on terrorism.”