The tightening noose of the Democratic Party’s police state apparatus is becoming more and more evident in the city of Chicago today in the run-up to the NATO meeting to be held at McCormick Place this weekend.
At a demonstration called for 10 AM Wednesday at Occupy Chicago’s old “headquarters” at Jackson and La Salle, a cordon of Chicago Police bicycle cops “protected the protestors’ right to free speech” by completely blocking access to the protest to pedestrians. This “Big Brother” show of force was clearly intended to be intimidating to any passerby who wished to just walk over to find out what was going on. The protestors were picketing the Bank of America branch at Jackson and La Salle in opposition to that bank’s foreclosures on homes all over the country.
Later on at the same location, a gang of bicycle cops went out of their way to tear down a sign posted by the Independent Workers Party that had been hung on the side of a utility box. The poster read: “Capitalism Must Die so that the Working Class May Live” and had several articles from the capitalist press regarding the ongoing economic crisis in Europe, the elections in Greece and their aftermath and a war crime attributed to NATO member Turkey, who bombed a group of Kurdish civilians into oblivion with the assistance of a US predator drone spy plane.
The heaviest police presence of the day we witnessed was at the afternoon demonstration in support of long-time on Chicano activist Carlos Montes, who is fighting an FBI frameup on bogus “felon in possession of a gun” charges based on a 43-year-old misdemeanor assault on a police officer charge. (See: “Carlos Montes back in court, pushes to stop FBI frame-up” in the April-June issue of “Fight Back” at http://www.fightbacknews.org/2012/2/8/carlos-montes-back-court-pushes-info-frame ) Here, a dozen white “Homeland Security” SUVs were parked across from the demonstrators all up and down Dearborn St. between the Federal Building and the Post Office. There were riot police standing along Dearborn to the east of the demonstration in an effort to intimidate the people at the demonstration as well as those who might wish to stop by and learn what the demo was all about. [Note: It turned out that those SUVs were parked there 24 hrs. a day all weekend. – IWP Editor]
Quoting the article from “Fight Back!: “Carlos Montes is one of the 24 anti-war and international solidarity activists who have been hit by FBI and grand jury repression since Sept. 24, 2010”, when FBI agents fanned out across the US and raided homes of political activists opposed to the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the homes of US Muslims who have been accused of aiding and abetting terrorist activity simply for sending donations to charitable groups in the Middle East that the US Government claims are “linked” to terrorist groups.
Labor must oppose all attempts by the United States Government to prevent unions and political groups from giving aid and support to our brothers and sisters around the world who have been placed in the crosshairs of the US Government’s endlessly expanding “War on Terror”. Under the US Government’s current definition of “terrorist”, any group that opposes US imperialism’s military operations overseas can be slapped with the “terrorist” label – and any US citizen who then gives any type of “material aid” to those groups – even just making a speech or writing an article defending them! – can be charged under the Patriot Act and other draconian US “anti-terror” laws with aiding and abetting an organization “linked” to terrorism!
Under the US’ new “anti-terror” laws, acts that just a few years ago were perfectly legal – such as sending money to groups like the Irish Republican Army’s Sinn Fein political wing, would be deemed as giving “material support” to terrorists! Sending donations to the Nicaraguan and El Salvadoran rebel movements – which was done all over the world during the 1980s – would today be considered as “supporting terrorism” and the donors and supporters would be facing heavy fines and long jail terms. The Independent Workers Party declares the inalienable right of the working people all over the world to determine for ourselves what political and activist groups we deem to be supportable and to send any kind of “material aid” necessary to defend our brothers and sisters from state-sponsored terrorism such as what the US-backed death-squad governments meted out to our brothers and sisters in Central and South America in the 1970s and 1980s – and what the US and its allies continue to do today from the Middle East to Central America.