Great job by the Chicago PD. God bless them for protecting our city from those who wish to do harm. May the city and especially the media give them praise for their work during NATO. Chicago PD has a great leader in Garry McCarthy.
Agreed, a big thank you to the police! Overall they did a wonderful job of keeping peace in a difficult situation. And I would add a big thanks to the protesters, all but a very few who also did a wonderful job of making their point peacefully. And yes, many were from out of town, and many more were from right here, our neighbors and fellow Chicagoans.
I fail to see how calling them names accomplishes anything useful or adds to the discussion of the issues. It sounds more reactionary than really trying to understand the issues. There are valid points on both sides. I personally would never call the 40 brave servicemen who gave back their medals yesterday because they no longer felt they could support the war machine idiots. Until both sides listen to each other we're doomed to name calling that will get us nowhere.
I was watching the news around 5 yesterday, and I thought the Police and reporters did a great job too. I especially liked the Officer's sense of humor when he put up the sign "Everything is Okay." with a beautiful smile on his face. I watched channel 5 for most of it, before that I was watching channel 9, and I thought channel 9's reporters were too dramatic.
Take it easy John. I was referring to groups such as the Black Bloc that do not hold peaceful protests, but rather look for trouble and attack our officers.... such as what happened on Cermak and Michigan. My goodness, people are so touchy on these boards.
No offense. Your first comment seemed to be the touchy one. And yes, we agree about groups like the Black Bloc. I thought all told the weekend went well. It think the last thing anyone wanted--police or protesters--was a repeat of anything like 1968. God bless all parties for keeping that from happening.
Hey, I was out there protesting against endless wars yesterday. I was there in '68, too. The kids there were sweet and kind and care about what is going on in the world. That's a bad thing? Their behavior was remarkably restrained as the City set up such a totally hostile environment around the protestors. Yet the CIty is supposed to be so broke "we" can't pay the retirees their cost of living increases and 'are closing busy mental health clinics but can afford for 10,000 riot cops surrounding peaceful kids and grannies and moms pushing strollers and elderly veterans? IF you don't stand against endless wars eating up all our resources what do you stand for?
No port a potties, no garbage receptacles - the city did a real nice job welcoming people from out of town. P.S. I don't "Call names" but I see others in this thread do.
RT, that's great! It's tough with these message boards, cause you can't read tone into what people who you don't know write. And it is still a great resource to have and it has provided great info about the neighborhood. Cheers!
I participated in the march. I thought the police did a fantastic job. An older woman fell from the heat, and they jumped in and got her water and back up on her feet. The trouble makers with the black vandanas really did us wrong. They were part of the 0 % as far as i am concerned. I think the organizers could have done a better job policing their own tribe. Thank you CPD.
@snail......you mean the peaceful protestors who where covering their faces like in old western movie? The same "black bloc" that caused nothing but mayhem and destruction and used up more of our taxpayers dollars? Most of these people don't even live in this state. They obviously aren't working so let me ask....how do they afford to travel around and do nothing but cause chaos? If they feel so strongly about peace and justice they should stay in their own cities and towns and go after the domestic terrorists that plague their own streets, killing their own! They wouldn't do that because the domestic terrorists would fight back and they wouldn't have anyone to slap a lawsuit on. The city doesn't provide ammenities for any other functions either. Event planners have sponsors that provide ammenities. Descent people don't litter and if all the protestors there were grannies, moms and tots, and elderly veterans, then they surely would have disposed of their trash properly. The only thing we pay for is the security and, if you ask me, they are way underpaid and probably still working without a contract! They didn't forget to bring the Lawyers Guild though, now did they? Perhaps they should've invested in some trash bags, bottled water and security instead. You paint such a beautiful picture but what you describe is NOT what I saw on the evening news. The hooligans totally ruined this for the people who were trying to make a statement. I never even listened to any of the messages people were trying to get across because I was more interested/worried about what the thugs were up to. Too bad for all those grannies, moms and tots, and elderly veterans. Nobody heard a thing they had to say:( ROCK ON CPD!!
Over all it was a very peaceful march, up until they reached 22nd and Michigan. That's when the problems started. It started at the band shell and lasted 3 hours without a hitch. I left at the Hilton because of the heat. Good thing i did. The policing should have started with the organizers. Those black bloc folks were there at the band shell, and their presence was known. There was an opportunity to tell them to leave.
I feel bad for you Waynard. Whichever cause you were marching for was overshadowed by the bad apples of the bunch. You understand that it is their right as well as your right to be there don't you? You can't "tell" anyone to leave. That's what they want. Then they call the Lawyer's Guild and slap a lawsuit on the city who will settle in a couple of years just to get it off the books. I want to know who is educating this "black bloc" and how come they have the Lawyer's Guild backing them? CPD did a great job and their restraint saved our city a lot of money in frivoulous, phony lawsuits. I wouldn't admit I was part of any occupy movement now that it's associated with thugs.
Except that the occupy movement isn't associated with thugs, any more than the Catholic Church is associated with child molesters, right? No group can be totally responsible for outliers who try to ruin a good thing. You can choose to believe it is so, and that alone is not an argument that will convince very many, if any. I feel bad that you are only willing to see one narrow side of the issue. If nothing else, at least this forum is showing you there are other viewpoints, and I am glad people with differing views are chiming in.
Without the freedom to stand in the street and protest, there is no freedom. Democracy is lost not all at once, but in tiny steps. We should not feel good about moving backwards even an inch when it comes to stopping people from voicing opinion. As long as folks do not harm other folks or property, let them stand outside all night and every night shouting about what they believe is wrong with the world. Do not use force to end that because that just might lead to the end of everything. And if you listen to the chants and slogans, in the midst of the noise, there may be messages we all need.
@ John. I'll give you the nurses. They have a valid reason for protesting. The veterans? I don't think so. It's not like they were drafted. They enlisted of their own free will and now they regret it? Had they done their research prior to enlisting they would have seen that returning veterans were never given anything, not even therapy. At least today they're hiring more veteran applicants before civilians. I'm not narrow minded and I welcome all viewpoints. A priest molesting a child is very wrong but that perverted priest isn't going to launch urine in my face or make bombs to blow up our President or other public venues either. I don't know a single person involved in the occupy movement and I will forever associate them with the black bloc after witnessing this weekend's antics. This in itself takes away from the movement. I see it as, "birds of a feather flock together". Enough said. Our museums and other places of business lost revenue because of this. Even if I wanted to march for a particular cause I sure wouldn't have done it under the shadow of these "hippies". As a Chicago resident I'm already pissed off because of high taxes, corruption, and the lack of city services. I'm surprised the residents in Bridgeport didn't bust the heads of the protestors they encountered trying wreak havoc in their neighborhood. I think they picked the wrong city to mess with, that's all. Going back to the original post, kudos to our emergency responders. At least they are well worth their weight in gold.
Occupy Chicago and the march organizer both had opportunities to disassociate themselves from Black Bloc and they declined it, thereby damaging their own reputations. In such ways they continue to alienate huge numbers of people who would otherwise wish to agree with them. Freedom of assembly is not the right to gather anywhere, anytime, in any way, interfering with the rights of others. The cops made the demonstration possible. I can guarantee there otherwise would have been vehicles perfectly willing to assert their right of way under the law. The cops managed to shame the protestors by taking a leaf from the passive resistance playbook. It's ironic. Well done by the CPD.
Before this gets out of hand, let's try to refrain from labeling each other or others as hippies, narrow minded, or any other term. We're all people with different opinions across a broad spectrum. This discussion can take place without labels.
People really don't get Occupy do they? Or understand it is not a top down heirarchical organization (as NATO is). To say the organizers of Occupy has the chance (when, while it was happening) to disassociate from black bloc and declined to me, really shows a lack of understanding of how crowds and protests work. Maybe there were a few associated with Occupy that supported black bloc, and most didn't, and that includes me, so it is not true that all of Occupy simply embraced black bloc and their tactics. The majority did not. It makes a much nicer TV narrative to say that occupy's leaders didn't disassociate with black block, but then the corporate media does have an agenda. You have to look at everything, not just what the networks say. It's much more complicated than that. If I'm wrong and there are occupy organizations that defended what black bloc did, please let me know (point me to websites that show that occupy supported black bloc). And please do not assume that because some newscaster said it or that you saw the crowds watching rather than violently turning on black bloc that somehow that means they support what they did. I know we disagree on specifics, and I do thank everyone for the discussion.
It's on tape. Occupy Chicago rep told news she did not distinguish between "good demonstrators" and "bad demonstrators", all were welcome. March organizer and rep told news he supported the action at Cermak Road. Both supported Nato3 before even hearing the evidence. I understand Occupy. That's why I quit.
Thanks Pete. I know I can tend to get worked up, and I apologize for anything I've written that has labeled anyone. I truly do appreciate the other viewpoints and hope we can continue to have a constructive conversation.
@ Catherine. Thanks for clarifying that the Occupy Movement chose NOT to disassociate themselves with the black bloc. @ Pete, sincerely apologize for using the term "hippies" and having offended anyone. I was referring to a group of protestors who in fact look like "hippies". I don't know of any politically correct term that fits the description. I was not referring to or name calling on this forum. @ John - as I said, if you do the research prior to enlisting, I'm sure you'll learn what the job entails and for how many years you're committed. All the veterans I know are proud to have served. It insures that protests like this weekends remain possible and places like Everyblock exist. I'm going to "thank" a cop today.....even if he's ticketing me:)
Thanks Catherine. I didn't see that and will look it up. (I'll be interested to see who they interviewed, as I have seen many reporters talk to random occupiers who really had no leadership position and refer to them as leaders of the movement. The media doesn't really know how to deal with a more or less leaderless movement). Occupy is still very diverse, and for me I'm not sure what it would mean to say I quit occupy, as it is so amorphous. There are parts that I support that do embrace non-violence and want to stick to that. (The Tom Morello brand of Occupy.) For me occupy is very large and diverse and I don't want to abandon it because I see a lot of important work it is doing. I do understand how you could be turned off by something specific as it appears you were, and I respect your decision to quit. I want to go on and embrace the parts of it I find worthy and important. Just as I don't agree with or support everything my country does simply because it is done by my country, I don't support everything occupy does, and I recognize and support what it does that is good. For me, with both occupy and the country, being involved or being patriotic means trying to make things better. If I had had your experience with occupy I may have quit too. So far, my experience has been different.
Kelly, I like your idea of thanking cops. I try to do it often. They have a thankless and important job. The research I have done and the news I have seen over the last ten years reports a lot on what is called stop-loss, where soldiers are forced to go back again and again, in violation of what they originally signed up for. Even those who returned their medals yesterday I don't think they weren't proud to serve, but were trying to tell the truth about what they saw. They volunteered because they love the country and wanted to serve it, and now they feel they are serving it best by speaking what they see as the truth. They understand that part of what they were fighting for was to keep the freedom to be able to protest and speak truth to power, and that is what they were doing.
@ John. I also don't believe our troops need to remain in foreign lands for extended periods of time, if at all. I want them all to come home now. We have to many of our own issues in this country and our money should be being spent on U.S. soil and on U.S. citizens. I also believe that people make choices and they need to stop blaming society or government when their choices go wrong. You can't afford a $500,000.00 home on $2,000.00 a month income regardless of what the bank tells you. Our officials are elected by a majority vote. I hope you take into consideration the choices our elected officials made in having NATO in Chicago the next time you go to the polls. I know I will.
Kelly, I certainly agree our troops don't need to remain in foreign lands for extended periods! That is part of what the protests were about! I'm puzzled by having that view and being against the protests. I also agree that people need to be responsible for their choices. The mortgage mess is more complicated than that, though it is certainly a part of it. There was much illegal activity by the banks that they have not been held accountable for, and many people got greedy and thought they should have homes they could not afford. There is plenty of fault there to go around. It's wrong to just blame society and government and for me it is just as wrong to give those things a complete pass. I absolutely will take all these things and more into account when I next go to the polls! And I'm glad you will as well.
@John, as I said, these were the official representatives we have seen all through the process, not random members. March organizers just on Ch 5 calling event at Cermak "the police attack". Earlier when asked about protestors attacking police an interview was terminated. Complete lack of intellectual integrity, just cannot admit anyone was wrong, ever. This is why they have no credibility other than when preaching to the choir. It's actually painful to watch such wasted opportunities.
The protesters do look silly when they blame anything and everything on the police. I saw that quite a bit over the weekend. Of course this may be the media trying to sensationalize "police brutality", but not once did I hear a protester blame some bad seeds within their own ranks.
All true enough, and the longer interviews I've seen on Democracy Now and other outlets tell a more nuanced story. The networks edit heavily and pick and choose sound bites to further their agenda (protesters=bad, police=good). There are instances where that narrative is true, and there are instances where it is not so cut and dry. That's why I take what I see on the network news with a grain of salt (in flipping around I thought WGN did a pretty fair job of being objective; more so than the other local TV stations whose coverage I saw--I watched for hours and admittedly didn't see all the coverage on all the networks, so am only going by what I saw, which I guess is all any of us can do). When I look deeper and look to non-corporate news sources, I see a very different story. I try to see all sides and understand all positions, and to do that for myself, I have to get my information from a wide variety of sources. And again, these were the "official" representatives we have seen through the process, because they were the ones the network chose to talk to. Some of those people were very annoying and I didn't agree with them at all. If I thought that was the whole deal, I'd turn against them too. And when I looked into other news sources I found they did not represent the entirety or even the majority of what was actually going on. That's why I watch Democracy Now, and read articles on Alternet and the Progressive, among many other sources.
To me, a big part of the reason it seems like a wasted opportunity is because that is precisely the message the media wants to put out there. The protests did accomplish one thing; they forced the protests to be covered. The local news at 5 didn't mention what went on in the NATO summit, they only reported on the protests. Though again, they made no attempt to understand what was being protested, they merely covered what was happening. Sure, a full message may not have gotten across, and the world does know that not everyone in America is hunky dory with all that NATO does. (I'm not saying that as a judgement one way or another on the protests; just saying in that sense they were effective, and I'm not sure what more they could have accomplished.) In the end, given the number of people, it seems there were remarkably few violent incidents, and remarkably few arrests, given what could have happened (and has happened at other large protests here and abroad). And for that I continue to give credit to the police and to the great majority of the protesters. I've enjoyed the conversation today and thank all those who have participated are read. The past weekend was obviously a big deal in Chicago no matter what you thought of it, and it's good that neighbors can talk about it.
My thoughts are very well nuanced, thank you. These were not edited remarks, all of this occurred on live television. CPD won the battle for hearts and minds, a battle that Occupy gave up on long ago, the NATO march lacked utterly aside from the vets, and that the Black Bloc has zero interest in.
Before i sign out and "occupy" my favorite mexican restaurant, there were some clips on the BBC, of course showing the malee. There is a guy in one clip wearing a American flag like a superman cape. Him and his girl friend walked to the immediate right of me during the march for about 5 blocks on State St.. I wonder if he knows...
Catherine - I agree, the police will come off as heroes after this will all be over, which is really why the OP started this thread - so we can show our appreciation. I know I will at the next CAPS meeting.
"The protests did accomplish one thing; they forced the protests to be covered. The local news at 5 didn't mention what went on in the NATO summit, they only reported on the protests. Though again, they made no attempt to understand what was being protested, they merely covered what was happening. "
John, I must respectfully disagree that this is a good thing. I would prefer to hear news about what NATO is doing so that I might decide for myself as to whether they are an organization that is even worth protesting.
On the news we hear a one line mention about President Obama refusing to meet with the president of Pakistan until he is ready to discuss opening the blocked supply routes into Afghanistan, and then it is back to lengthy footage of some really quite sad looking little protest groups with a message that was unfocused, poorly articulated, and obnoxiously presented.
For me the best parts of both occupy and the police won hearts and minds. I utterly disagree that occupy has given up trying to win hearts and minds; indeed, that is its purpose--the purpose I find in it. Ask Tom Morello. That some in the movement or outside it try to derail that message makes it no less true for me. Any time you have that number of people gathered for any reason, you're going to have some there just to make trouble. That part of human nature hasn't changed. Just because a sound bite is live on television hardly means there is no editing involved, or choice on who to talk to or which reporter to show live. There were enough voices there that it would be very easy to show 'live' some 'leader' saying pretty much what you wanted to hear, no matter what that was. As with any large, diverse movement, each will take from it what we want. And I think we've all made pretty clear today what we each took from it. Thanks all. Now it is indeed, as Waynard says, time to occupy a favorite restaurant.
Tom Morello is a nice guy with an expressed ideal of an anarcho-syndicalist society. I rest my case; not a way to build a mass movement. I just saw the police being applauded outside my window. No applause for the protestors.
And so if I say I just saw the demonstrators applauded and not the police, we've proven what? That we each have different experiences? Very true, as we've been showing all day. I'm not sure what larger conclusions that justifies. Anarcho-syndicalist? Both I and Morello would reject anarchy, and we are both pro-labor. Labor has given far more to our society than most of us realize. Without it we wouldn't have a middle class. Perhaps you disagree on that, and it'll be a discussion for another day.
Don't generalize about groups of people. People do this to the police all the time. They focus on corrupt police and blame it on everybody on the police department, blame it on thousands of officers. Same with protesters: don't generalize. There's every kind of person in every group. And whatever you do, don't blame the veterans (for heavens sake) for giving their medals back because they are unhappy with American foreign policy. They were there, they put their lives on the line. They have suffered and suffered and they witnessed first hand what is going on. We should listen to them. One of my friends served 2 years in a NATO international security force, had nothing good to say about what they were ordered to do. All of you critics of veterans, when are you enlisting? Don't forget to volunteer for combat duty while you're at it. Then after you get back, lets talk again.
Thank you for posting this thread. The police officers did an amazing job, and McCarthy was extremely impressive. I was so disgusted by Andy Thayer's comment to a reporter last night (at least that's when I saw the interview) that he was "ashamed to be a Chicagoan" because of the actions of the police. All I can say is that I am ashamed that HE is a Chicagoan.....
Lots of well desereved praise for the police considering they extremely low amounts of officers Chicago actually has,let's see how much Rahm loves them when it's time for their contract negotiations to come up next month!!!
Thanks Pete. Hadn't seen this and agree on you about Kass and about this column. I think this thread may have run its course, and maybe every block is better suited to lost kittens and the like--not belittling lost kittens! they are very important. Just saying maybe this isn't the forum for political discussions. I say that in response to someone's recent post about the problems with the list and all the "no thanks." I agree with him. I've been amused that I have had several comments taken down because they had a bunch of "no thanks." The very same comments also had more than a half dozen "thanks." Makes me think there are enough people here who don't really want to discuss politics that we should maybe just stick to what is happening in the neighborhood. Just a thought. I'd like to have a good conversation and thought we were having one. Evidently several people agreed and several disagreed.
John, I think EB is the perfect place for political discussion. I agree, the thanks/no-thanks issue has created rifts and has heated things up that might not be so heated, but I direct you to this post: