This video is called CANG8 Chicago PROTEST NATO INFORMATION.
By Yana Kunichoff, Truthout in the USA:
Monday, 14 May 2012 15:25
The coming NATO summit and its protest counterpart in Chicago is full of symbolism: the stand-off between the 1 percent and the 99 percent in a city where that division is becoming ever more clear. But it’s also been full of on-the-ground organizing to bring out communities of color, arguments around the role of the Democratic Party and (still ongoing) legal battles for permits to march within sight and sound of the summit.
Truthout sat down with Andy Thayer and Joe Iosbaker, two organizers who have been up to their elbows in press releases, meetings and messaging since it was announced that Chicago would be hosting the summit, to ask them why they will be protesting NATO.
Thayer was dubbed “the protest king” by NBC Chicago and his attempts to get protest permits over the years and acting as a gay rights and anti-war activist have taken him into court against the city about 18 times.
Meanwhile, Iosbaker has also dealt with legal issues related to his political action. In the fall of 2010, he was one of several anti-war activists in the Midwest whose homes were raided by the FBI on suspicion of working with groups in Colombia and the Middle East.
Together, they’ve placed themselves in the thick of organizing against the coming NATO summit in Chicago. Truthout sat down with them after one of their organizing meetings for CANG8, a coalition of groups and individuals against the summit. In this conversation, the organizers discuss how NATO has impacted organizing in Chicago, why the left is abandoning the Democrats and what Chicago’s 1 percent just didn’t see coming.
Yana Kunichoff: Why are you protesting the NATO summits?
Andy Thayer: NATO is, in the words of Dr. King, the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today and that to me is the first thing that you have to bear in mind with NATO. It’s NATO’s war in Afghanistan, the longest ever war in American history and it is NATO countries that are doing the drone strikes in Yemen which have now reached the same awful level as in Pakistan. NATO is responsible for 70% of world military expenditure. Any number of other issues that we might be involved in, or other people might be involved in, are directly impacted by that. I mean, we live in a city that has had half of its mental health clinics closed. We live in a city that has had its public transit system reduced a couple of years ago. We live in a city where the student-teacher ratios are not what they should be, where there is a $700 million budget deficit looming for 2013 just in the Department of Education here. And so all of these issues that are seemingly disparate are very much connected with NATO.
I think this is why we have been very successful in getting people from other movements involved in this protests against NATO and its wars because, for example, when Occupy first started out it was dealing very narrowly with economic issues. But you can’t have a situation when homes are foreclosed and expect to deal with it when you have 60% of the federal budget going to military.
The good thing about the protest about NATO is that it’s finally bringing together “separate movements.” Back in the 60’s and early 70’s, all these movements were considered part and parcel of one general struggle of the 99% against the 1%. And I’m really happy to see Palestinian activists working with environmentalists working with LGBTQ folks. If we’re going to just talk about why to protest against NATO we could be here all day.
Iraq War vet talks about why he wants to return his medals during NATO summit: here.
For NATO protesters, a welcome mat. As officials batten down hatches for marches that could draw thousands of out-of-towners, some Chicagoans show hospitality: here.
By Andy Grimm, Chicago Tribune reporter:
May 15, 2012
Dozens of peace activists picketed Monday at President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters, marking the first organized demonstration — and first arrests — in a weeklong slate of protests aimed at the NATO summit of world leaders.
Supporters of the Catholic Workers, a social justice and anti-war group that is calling for an end to NATO military involvement in the Middle East, showed up with little advance warning and swarmed into Prudential Plaza.
About 20 protesters made it up the escalators from the lobby to the second floor, where their attempt to reach Obama’s campaign offices stalled when security guards shut down banks of elevators. The rest remained in the lobby, singing and handing fliers to passing office workers as a dozen uniformed police stood behind them. Outside, a phalanx of bicycle officers lined the sidewalk.
Eight protesters volunteered to be arrested after a short statement was read, and the rest filed out just as peacefully, with one pausing to shake hands and thank the building manager and a police lieutenant.
Veterans For Peace Calls For End To NATO: here.
Interview: OSCE To Monitor Anti-NATO Protests At Summit In Chicago: here.
An expose of the military-industrial complex shows how its actions grease the transfer of resources from the poorest to the richest globally: here.