NATO protesters arrested without charge

This video from the USA is called Why Occupy Chicago is Protesting NATO.

By Yana Kunichoff, Truthout in the USA:

NATO Protesters Held Without Charge After Raid as Chicago Steps Up Police Activities

Friday, 18 May 2012 14:00

A pre-emptive raid by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) on the home of two Occupy Chicago activists may have happened without a search warrant, said the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), and led to the disappearance of nine activists into police custody without charge for almost 24 hours.

“I’d like to stress that we have done nothing wrong,” said Zoe Sigman, an Occupy Chicago activist whose home was raided. “We have been planning to protest NATO and there is nothing illegal about expressing our feelings about a war machine. Now we’re being treated as mere criminals. As if we’re part of an organized crime that they’re trying to take down. Who knows what they’re going to pin on us. We’re terrified.”

In the run-up to the NATO summit, parts of Chicago have been locked down. Police raided an apartment and protesters on trumped up charges: here.

Occupy Chicago Takes on the War at Home: here.

Mobilizing Military Moms Against NATO. Sarah Lazare, Truthout: “The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are marked by widespread mental health problems among US service members, with nearly one in five Iraq and Afghanistan veterans reporting symptoms of PTSD or severe depression. The Army’s own studies show an alarming spike in Army suicides which have soared past civilian rates These grim statistics continue to climb: 2011 saw the highest number of Army suicides in military history, with 164 soldiers reported to have taken their lives. This coincides with a 2011 spike in violent sexual assaults perpetrated by active duty soldiers, mostly targeting young active duty female soldiers”: here.

Nurses Gather at NATO Summit to Demand Government Fund Health, Not Death. Allison Kilkenny, Truthout: “Around a thousand individuals gathered at Chicago’s Daley Plaza Friday afternoon to demand the US government start properly funding health and stop funding death with an ever-expanding military budget. Casey Hobbs, a registered nurse for 37 years, traveled to Chicago in order to protest for the creation of a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street…. ‘[It’s] less than half a penny tax on financial transactions. With the billions of dollars we’d get from that, we’re gonna heal America'”: here.

Anti-war protesters are taking to the streets of London today in solidarity with the biggest-ever demonstration in the US against Nato warmongering: here.

Hollande sticks to Afghan pledge in Obama talks: here.

Don’t Buy the Spin: How Cutting the Pentagon’s Budget Could Boost the Economy. Robert Pollin and Heidi Garrett-Peltier, The Nation: “If we are going to advance beyond the past decade of war and the wreckage caused by the Great Recession to build a stable, secure and environmentally sustainable society, we need to break the grip of the military-industrial complex on the $700 billion military budget. The way to fight back begins with the simple task of presenting the facts – and advancing policies for a widely shared economic revival grounded in these facts”: here.

House GOP Leaders Block Amendment Solidifying Afghanistan Withdrawal Timeline. Robert Naiman, Truthout: “One thing the Afghan war policy hasn’t lost: the GOP leadership. That was demonstrated Wednesday night when the GOP leadership blocked consideration in the House of a bipartisan amendment offered by Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) and Walter Jones (R-North Carolina) that would have nailed to the wall the current, slippery ‘timetable’ for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. There you have it. The reason that the amendment couldn’t be allowed to come to a vote was because it could pass”: here.

Chicago police arrests anti-NATO protesters

This video from the USA is called Police intimidating NATO / Occupy protestors in Chicago.

By Yana Kunichoff in the USA:

First Unplanned Arrests in Chicago NATO Week of Action Have Activists Saying Police Overreacted

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 13:14

In what may be the first unplanned arrests during the NATO week of action, two activists were arrested after protesters from an action at the headquarters of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took the streets in downtown Chicago Tuesday. Along with two immigrant rights protesters arrested at a planned civil disobedience action earlier at ICE, it brings the total arrests on Tuesday to four.

Following the immigration protest at ICE headquarters, a group of about 75 marchers marched on the street for two Chicago streets blocks. The arrests took place after most marchers were back on the sidewalk and had made the decision to head back to Occupy Chicago‘s downtown headquarters, though there were still a handful of individuals that were crossing the street.

Natalie Wahlberg, an activist with Occupy Chicago, said that both arrested protesters were peaceful and on the sidewalk when they were arrested by the Chicago Police Department.

“Police grabbed two peaceful protests while they were on the sidewalk,” said Wahlberg, and “started yelling at someone else to get back on the sidewalk as he was standing on the sidewalk.” …

The coming NATO summit is expected to see an escalation of police forces in the city, with the city’s 12,000 strong police force to be deployed in riot gear. In addition, 500 state troopers will be deployed as well, the Chicago City Hall told sources in April.

On Tuesday, Chicago police also purchased two long-range acoustic device sound cannons, which “are equipped with a shrieking alarm able to send pain-inducing sound waves of up to 150 decibels that can be heard as far as 1,600 feet away, according to The Guardian. The use of the sound cannon is controversial since the human threshold for pain lies between 110 and 120 decibels,” NBC Chicago reported.

“This speaks to the nature of police violence in the city,” said Wahlberg. “The peaceful protesters are here to demonstrate against NATO’s war machine and it is currently being enforced by Rahm’s [Mayor Rahm Emanuel] goon squad.”

The US House of Representatives vowed today to continue the war in Afghanistan as deputies reviewed the colossal $642 billion (£405bn) military budget for the year: here.