[Update on the Niles, IL “racist router broadcast” that was discovered by one of our correspondents – IWPCHI]
This morning, our correspondent informs us, he finally received a return phone call from the Niles, IL “anti-discrimination hotline” regarding that racist router broadcast at Panera Bread! Amazing! We originally called them on the morning of October 18th, and gave them another cal a day later. It only took them 6 full days to get back to us! We are so glad that they don’t run the 911 hotline!
The call came from a very nice woman who identified herself as Cathy Spadoni, “Secretary of the Community Relations Commission“. [We are sure that Ms. Spadoni would be happy to receive calls from concerned members of the Niles community as well as from concerned workers all over Illinois. You can reach her through the “hotline” at 847-600-5440 or by email at CommunityRelations@vniles.com]
The first thing Ms. Spadoni asked our correspondent was “when did you call us?” Apparently, that “anti-discrimination hotline” really IS an old-school answering machine! Our correspondent let her know that it was a week ago.
Ms. Spadoni apologized for the delay in returning our correspondent’s phone call and then proceeded to ask him a few questions. First: “What is a router broadcast?”
Come on, now, it’s not that funny! Not everyone knows the name of these things, though they are indeed familiar with using wifi. This was the case with Ms. Spadoni, who immediately understood what our correspondent was talking about once it was explained to her. He gave her the whole rundown of what he had observed at Panera Bread and how the router’s broadcast was being received throughout the residential neighborhood north of its apparent location as well as throughout the strip mall on the south side of Dempster Ave., in Niles.
Ms. Spadoni then told our reporter that she had not heard of the issue before and that she would bring it to the attention of the Chief of Police in Niles. Our correspondent then let her know that the police have been aware of this racist broadcast for at least two years and have done nothing about it, saying that it was not a hate crime and was protected free speech. He also made it clear to her that over the past two-plus years, tens of thousands of people have been subjected to this abuse at the hands of this racist and the Niles authorities have done nothing to stop it.
This information seemed to startle her a bit. She paused and then stated that her commission’s mission was to deal primarily with housing discrimination – a statement completely at odds with the written declaration of the commission on its webpage as well as the recorded message on the “anti-discrimination hotline”. The website states: “The Commission has a mission to promote fairness and eliminate discrimination in Niles” – a much broader definition of discrimination than what Ms. Spadoni asserted.
Ms. Spadoni then stated: “”It’s certainly not our intention to downplay this incident, but it may be that our hands are tied”, to which our correspondent replied that intentions don’t matter, actions do. “My grandmother used to say: the road to hell is paved with good intentions” our correspondent told Ms. Spadoni. “Yes, I’ve heard that saying before” Ms. Spadoni replied. “What is important isn’t what people intend, but what they actually do that matters. In this case it’s a question perhaps of taking a broader rather than a narrow view of what your commission’s responsibilities are,” our correspondent said.
He then told Ms. Spadoni that he intends “to run this up the ladder until I find someone who will do something about it”. He stated that he intends to inform the NAACP and any other organization he can find that will work to get this case resolved.
The IWPCHI simply does not have the capacity to take up this case on its own. If this is to go any further it must be taken up by as many pro-working-class political parties and as many anti-racist groups as possible. Picket lines should be set up outside the Niles Village Hall to protest the phony “anti-discrimination hotline” as well as the complete inaction of the village authorities to a serious ongoing campaign of racist abuse of the citizenry by a person or persons unknown. Once identified, the people or person responsible for this racist provocation should have their homes and/or businesses picketed and they should be compelled to cease and desist by the anti-racist workers in the region. This work can and should be carried out by the unionized working class of Niles and Morton Grove primarily, meaning that the teachers unions, village employee unions and local trades unions should join together to make it clear to all the racist scum in the area that their provocations will not be tolerated by the working class.
Niles, IL has a vibrant and growing Korean and Indian population. Youth from India and the Middle East working on their schoolwork and college classes crowd the coffee shops day and night where this racist router broadcast is occurring. We believe that the racist(s) behind the broadcast are deliberately targeting these folks, as well as the many black and Hispanic workers in the strip mall – and any other decent people who stop there for coffee or for lunch.
There does seem to be a thread of racism running through the Niles community.
Nazi symbols have been found painted on water conduits and carved into trees in the Cook County Forest Preserve in Niles; racist graffiti has also been spotted written on a map of the bike path running through the Forest Preserve. These little nests of fascist vermin exist all over the US, and are continually being fed by the US government’s disgusting racist attacks on immigrant workers.
Today, just after speaking with Ms. Spadoni, our correspondent returned to Panera Bread and confirmed, once again, that the racist router broadcast continues.
He will be taking steps throughout the day to bring this vile racist provocation to the attention of the working class in Northern Illinois. We will continue to keep you updated as we receive more information in the case, and we look forward to seeing what Ms. Spadoni and the Niles, Illinois “Community Relations Commission” does about the matter.
[To Be Continued]