Chicago NATO summit amidst oppression


This video from the United States is called Opposing NATO in Chicago May 19, 2012.

By Allison Kilkenny, Truthout in the USA:

Why You Should Still Care About Chicago’s NATO Summit

Tuesday, 24 April 2012 09:30

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.

Suddenly, there was Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for President Obama’s National Security Council, admitting that the G-8 was high-tailing it from Chicago, Obama’s hometown, because of “political, economic and security issues.”

But real victory for activists was far from secure. The NATO and International Security Assistance Force meetings are still scheduled for the third week of May, and Occupy Chicago, along with other protest groups, are prepared to demonstrate despite Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s police state-esque transformation of the Chicago Police Department.

Even though the G-8 will now be held in a friendly-sounding bunker, the world should still watch Chicago this May, if only to bear witness to the clash between forces bearing wildly different styles of armor. Protesters will be armed with, well, nothing. Signs, maybe some banners. These activists will face a police force on steroids and a mayor wielding unprecedented levels of power, who essentially has full carte blanche to crush protest actions under the guise of maintaining security.

As of right now, it seems authorities in Chicago still expect a large turnout, despite the transfer of the G-8 summit. Chicago Police Department Chief Debra Kirby, head of the department’s international relations office, told the media that the removal of the G-8 from Chicago has done nothing to curb the interest from protesters intending to demonstrate during the summit weekend and police still expect large crowds of demonstrators to descend upon the city.

Meanwhile, Emanuel and the Chicago City Council have placed the city under lockdown in anticipation of the summits featuring the world’s richest nations.

In January, the council voted to approve what activists call the “Sit Down and Shut Up” ordinance, originally consisting of a mandatory $1 million liability insurance for protesters, fines of up to $1,000 for people arrested during a protest, stricter guidelines for obtaining permits and a heightened police presence in the city.

The public backlash was instant and enormous and City Hall was forced to tweak the proposal, though activists were less than impressed with the new version and insist Chicago remains a city that places onerous restrictions on protest.

May 18-19 Chicago: Vision and Organizing: here.

Chicago mayor’s infrastructure privatization scheme marked by secrecy: here.

Nato accused of misleading reports on Afghanistan success: here.

A Kabul-based think tank accused occupying powers of misleading the public on Wednesday by calling military operations “Afghan-led,” even in cases where Western forces are the only troops on the ground: here.

Why I refused to return to fight in Afghanistan’s brutal occupation, by Joe Glenton: here.

10 thoughts on “Chicago NATO summit amidst oppression

  1. Cost of disability benefits for veterans soars

    Bureau of Labor Statistics: About 633,000 veterans have service-connected disability

    Author: Aaron Smith

    Published On: Apr 27 2012 05:25:19 AM EDT Updated On: Apr 27 2012 06:28:03 AM EDT

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) –

    After more than a decade of continuous warfare, the cost of disability compensation for wounded veterans is surging to mammoth proportions.

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs expects to spend $57 billion on disability benefits next year. That’s up 25% from $46 billion this year, and nearly quadruple the $15 billion spent in 2000, before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.

    “This is the cost of going to war,” said Larry Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who served as assistant secretary of defense during the Ronald Reagan administration. “We’ve made so much progress in medicine [that] you’re going to have a lot of people survive their injuries who didn’t in the past.”

    About 4,500 U.S. troops were killed in Iraq and about 1,800 have been killed in Afghanistan. Some 633,000 veterans — one out of every four of the 2.3 million who served in Iraq and Afghanistan — have a service-connected disability, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    The VA designates some of these veterans as partially disabled, while others are considered fully disabled, depending on the extent of their injuries. The classifications determine how much money they’re paid in benefits, but it doesn’t prevent disabled vets from earning their own money, if they’re capable of doing so.

    The VA granted full disability to Sgt. Sean Long of the Georgia National Guard, who survived grisly wounds in Iraq in 2005 when “friendly fire” punched two .50 caliber bullets through his left leg.

    Long said the rounds “peeled me back … like a banana” as they broke his knee cap and femur and severed his femoral artery. He was evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in Iraq, then Germany, and eventually Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

    “I was in the hospital for three months,” said Long. “I stopped counting at 35 operations in 45 days. I had over 50 pints of blood put in me.”

    Now he’s on 100% disability. The compensation rate for full disability is $2,769 per month for a veteran with no dependents, according to David Autry, a Navy veteran and spokesman for the advocacy group Disabled American Veterans. Vets with families generally receive larger benefits, and those that have lost of a limb or reproductive organ are also eligible for additional compensation, ranging anywhere from $99 to $8,000 per month.

    Long sometimes works in construction, even though he can’t bend his leg, suffers “extreme pain” while walking on loose terrain and often uses a cane. Long, who has a 13-year-old daughter, might not have survived these injuries in an earlier war without medevac and modern medicine.

    “Equipment providing personal protection from many serious injuries as well as the speed and quality of medical attention have been major factors in saving lives,” wrote Marine veteran James Wright, former president of Dartmouth College and author of “Those Who Have Borne the Battle.”

    In his book, Wright looks at how the odds of surviving battle wounds have changed over the last 250 or so years. During the Revolutionary War there were 1.4 “nonmortal” wounded for every soldier killed in combat. That ratio rose to 2.3 in World War II and 2.6 in Vietnam. The ratio more than tripled in Iraq and Afghanistan, where there are more than seven wounded survivors for every soldier killed.

    The predominant use of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, and rocket-propelled grenades, known as RPGs, in Iraq and Afghanistan has caused an epidemic of amputations and brain injuries. Modern medicine is keeping these soldiers alive, but such catastrophic wounds are difficult and expensive to treat. Many soldiers also become psychologically disabled from post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

    Army Sgt. 1st Class Charles Williams suffers from multiple combat injuries. His platoon was ambushed in Afghanistan by Taliban fighters in 2006. An RPG struck and detonated a nearby ammunition box full of Mark 19 grenades, spraying him with shrapnel and throwing him 30 feet into a wall.

    Williams said he completed his tour, but was medically retired in 2011 with 100% disability compensation for a brain and shoulder injury, as well as PTSD. While he still has all his limbs, he said that he’s incapable of working even a desk job, because of hemiplegic migraines that temporarily paralyze the right side of his body and eliminate his ability to speak.

    “Some days, you can look at me and you wouldn’t tell there was anything wrong with me,” he said. “And then other days, my hands are shaking so bad I look like I have Parkinson’s and I can’t hardly feed myself.”

    In addition to Williams’ disability compensation, the VA pays his wife, Giovanna, $1,200 monthly to serve as her husband’s caretaker. Despite these payments, the couple says they’re struggling financially, ever since their house in Leesville, La., was wrecked by a flood in March.

    “I’m not looking for no handouts and nothing like that,” said Williams, who prior to his injury had been planning to get a job with a high school ROTC program. “A lot of this is kind of embarrassing to me because I can’t go to work.”

    Autry of Disabled American Veterans said the difficult economy has pressured some vets into seeking benefits when they otherwise wouldn’t.

    “It seems like in periods of economic stress, vets will turn to the VA for health care and other benefits in larger numbers, just like they turn to the military during rough economic times,” he said.

    Many of these veterans are young people in their 20s who go on full disability for the rest of their lives, putting a huge strain on the VA. Robert Gates, former Defense Secretary, addressed this in 2010.

    “Gates, right before he left, said health care costs are eating us alive,” said Korb, a Navy veteran. “I think that’s a critical thing.”

    Copyright 2012 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved.

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  5. Nederlands onderaan!

    Flashmob for Peace – No to NATO!
    20 mai 2012 – 14h – Bruxelles

    Les 20 et 21 mai se déroulera à Chicago le sommet de l’Otan, où cette dernière décidera de la position à adopter face à l’évolution du paysage politique au Moyen-Orient et au Maghreb, de son attitude face à la Chine et la Russie et de sa consolidation en tant que grosse puissance militaire mondiale. Une brève analyse (faite par l’Otan elle-même) de ce qu’elle prévoit se trouve ici: «Nato’s Chicago Summit: A thorny agenda». C’est pourquoi intal organise le dimanche 20 mai une action nationale visant à dénoncer l’existence et le rôle de l’Otan.

    A l’aide d’une flashmob et d’une performance, nous voulons isoler l’Otan et révéler les intérêts qu’elle défend. Pour réussir cette action, nous devons être au moins 230 participants. Nous comptons ici sur vous!

    Et que dois-je faire ?

    Tout d’abord vous vous inscrivez via le lien suivant : http://www.intal.be/actionnationale2012/ . Vous choisissez le pays que vous désirez représenter parmi la liste des pays encore disponibles et nous vous ferons parvenir un drapeau de ce pays.

    Données pratiques

    Nous vous donnons rendez-vous le dimanche 20 mai après-midi dans le quartier du gare Central à Bruxelles. L’action en elle-même durera maximum 1 heure.

    Envie de donner un petit coup de main pour la préparation? Envoyez un mail à lars.van.densen@telenet.be, il y a suffisamment de tâches pour lesquelles nous avons besoin d’aide le jour-même ou avant!

    Nous comptons sur votre participation afin de faire de cette action un véritable succès!

    Inscrivez-vous via: http://www.intal.be/actionnationale2012/

    Flashmob for Peace – No to NATO!
    20 mei 2012 – 14 u. – Brussel

    Op 20 & 21 mei gaat in Chicago een NAVO-top door, waar de NAVO onder andere besluiten zal nemen over hoe men zal omgaan met het veranderde politieke landschap in het Midden-Oosten & de Maghreb, wat haar positie tegenover China & Rusland is en haar positie als sterkste militaire macht van de wereld wil bevestigen. Een korte analyse (door de NAVO zelf) van wat er op de agenda staat kan je hier vinden: “Nato’s Chicago Summit: A thorny agenda”. Daarom organiseert intal op zondag 20 mei een nationale actie die het bestaan en de rol van de Navo afkeurt.

    Door een combinatie van een flashmob & actietheather zullen we de NAVO isoleren en de belangen die ze verdedigt onthullen. Om deze actie te laten lukken moeten we met minstens 230 intallers zijn. We rekenen hiervoor op jullie!

    En wat moet ik doen?

    Allereerst schrijf je je in op de volgende site: http://www.intal.be/nationaleactie2012. Je kiest het land dat je wilt vertegenwoordigen uit de lijst van nog beschikbare landen en wij bezorgen je op de dag zelf een vlag van dat land.

    Praktische info

    Op zondagnamiddag 20 mei spreken we af in de buurt van het Centraal Station in Brussel. De actie zelf neemt maximum 1 uur in beslag.

    Heb je zin om een handje toe te steken in de voorbereiding? Stuur een mailtje naar lars.van.densen@telenet.be, er zijn genoeg taken op de dag zelf en in de voorbereiding waarmee we hulp nodig zullen hebben!

    We rekenen op jullie deelname om van deze actie een waar succes te maken!

    Inschrijven via: http://www.intal.be/nationaleactie2012

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