Category Archives: IL

Anti-Trump Protest in Chicago and The Limitations of Spontaneous Expressions of Working-Class Outrage

The Independent Workers Party of Chicago – which, sadly, like most revolutionary socialist political parties in Chicago, was not at this historic event – salutes all of those who took part in the anti-Trump protest at UIC! It was a fine act of working-class self-defense against the openly racist provocation represented by the repulsive Donald Trump candidacy. Congratulations to you all! We demand that all charges be dropped against all of the anti-Trump protestors arrested (by the racist Democratic-Party-run Chicago Police Department) at the rally! But it is our duty as revolutionary Trotskyists to tell you that it will take a far more organized and politically conscious movement of the working-class youth to put and end to the capitalist system responsible for the emergence of racist excrescences like the Trump campaign.

The racism and scapegoating of immigrants for the failures of the capitalist system to provide basic human needs for workers – hallmarks of the Trump, and to only a lesser degree, all of the other pro-capitalist candidates’ campaigns in both parties – is one of the fundamental elements of the capitalist system. Nationalism, racism, sexism and religious bigotry are used very slyly by the capitalist class to stay in power by keeping the working class divided along those very national, racial, sexual, ethnic and religious lines. A working class divided along all those lines is so much easier for the capitalists to conquer! By succumbing to the lies of the capitalists and their political attack dogs that “immigrants are stealing your jobs” and that people of different religious faiths or sexualities pose a “threat” to “our way of life” the deluded members of the working class enable their capitalist masters to prevent effective union organizing among workers, thereby keeping wages and benefits down and their profits up. Nationalism, racism, sexism and religious bigotry are deadly poisons force-fed to the working class by the capitalist class through the agency of the pro-capitalist media, politicians, union misleaders and “criminal justice” system. It is the duty of every decent worker to fight nationalism, racism, sexism and religious bigotry with every ounce of strength he or she possesses!

The fact is that none of these evils can be extinguished in society until the capitalist system itself is overthrown and replaced by a revolutionary socialist workers republic. Until workers come to consciously understand this fundamental teaching of revolutionary Marxism, their protests will amount to little more than short-term and partial periodic victories over the more racist elements of the working class organized and led by the capitalist class. Racism will not die by “natural causes” or by moral suasion; it must be deprived of its medium of growth, which is the unequal distribution of wealth that makes up the very poor social soil of the capitalist system. And this deeper understanding of the true source of racism will not “arise spontaneously” in your mind; you need to actually study Marxism to fully comprehend this reality, which is hidden from you by the propaganda produced by the capitalist class in order to justify their class rule.

That racism must be fought is something that the vast majority of US workers – especially those black, Hispanic and religious minority workers who make up the population of most US cities like Chicago and who are the intended victims of the racists and fascists – understand; but only in a general way. This generalized understanding is good enough to provide the impetus for spontaneous demonstrations of outrage against attempts to hold racist and anti-immigrant political rallies like the one we witnessed here in Chicago last week. Trump’s bold and foolish attempt to hold one of his “Klan-lite” rallies in the midst of a stronghold of one of the most racially integrated unionized working class areas in the USA was effectively spiked by the largely spontaneous and wholly justified action of working-class and student youth (with African-American and Hispanic youth taking their role in the vanguard). Chicago, like most major US cities is a “majority-‘minority’” town, where about 70% of the population is black or Hispanic. Chicago is also a stronghold of the US union movement, boasting one of the highest percentages of unionized workers in the USA. For these reasons it was a relative no-brainer for students at the University of Illinois-Chicago and working-class youth living in the black and Hispanic neighborhoods that ring the UIC campus to “spontaneously organize” a massive protest that overwhelmed Trump’s security daisy-chain at his rally.

There are many who will claim that this “spontaneous” anti-Trump rally “proves” that the working class do not need to be led by a revolutionary socialist Leninist vanguard party. But they are just using the “common sense” inculcated in them by the capitalist system – and so they end up being “spontaneously” wrong!

One of the most important lessons taught by Lenin, the great organizer and leader of the Russian Revolution of 1917, is that “revolutionary consciousness does not ‘arise spontaneously’ in the minds of the workers”; it must be brought to them via the agency of trained, professional Marxist revolutionaries.

Now when you first read this, you might well think that it is an absurd statement; but we can assure you that it is no more absurd than it is to say: “the consciousness of a chemist” or “the consciousness of a physicist”, or doctor or any other profession “does not arise spontaneously” in the minds of anyone – no matter how much they would like to become a doctor, physicist or anything else. If you want to become a medical scientist, you must study medical science first – no one “spontaneously” becomes a doctor after years of merely “wishing” to be one! Likewise, in political science, in order to become a professional revolutionary Marxist, you need to first study revolutionary (not reformist) Marxism, under the tutelage of revolutionary Marxists. And for that you need to teachers of Marxist political science.

Spontaneous uprisings of the workers such as the anti-Trump rally, though commendable, are not even capable of ending the candidacy of Donald Trump; and they can not put to eternal rest the forces of fascism. The overthrow of capitalism worldwide must be achieved before the final struggle to destroy racist ideology can even BEGIN! And in order to overthrow the highly organized and professionally-led US capitalist class, it’s economic system, its cops, courts and military – the working class needs something far more powerful than a spontaneous uprising. Only a well-organized and professionally led political party of CONSCIOUS revolutionaries who know precisely WHAT social forces they are fighting and what social forces are their allies – and who are armed with a well-thought-out revolutionary socialist political program agreed upon before the revolution begins – can hope to lead the workers to the final victory over the forces of capital. Any political “leader” who pretends that an elemental mass spontaneous upsurge of the working class will suffice to overthrow the professional, experienced and organized forces of a capitalist class that has more than 300 years of experience wielding state power all over the world… any political leader who makes such a claim can only lead the working class to a very bloody defeat.

So young worker: you have read this far and are still not convinced that we are speaking the truth? That’s fair enough. We assure you that we are not just blowing smoke; we have the past 300 years of history backing up our assertion. Revolutionary Marxists study history in order to understand the evolution of human society; we study the long history of workers revolutionary struggles that have taken place all over the world. And these studies have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only workers revolutions that have ever succeeded were ALL led by a revolutionary Leninist vanguard party like the one we are organizing. It’s just that simple! A modern revolutionary socialist party – which is to say, scientifically, a Marxist/Leninist/TROTSKYIST party – is what we must build if we want to overthrow capitalism and replace it with an egalitarian workers socialist republic in which racists and racism are not allowed to organize political parties or to promulgate their unscientific and abhorrent doctrines at all.

Every successful workers revolution in the 20th century was led by a Leninist vanguard party: in Russia in 1917, China, North Korea, Cuba and Vietnam – ALL were led by Leninist vanguard parties! Anyone who tells you that they “hate” Leninist vanguard parties is telling you, in essence that they “hate” the very idea of actual workers revolution! They aren’t saying it in so many words, because that would drive you away from them. But it is fully implied in their hatred for and intransigent opposition to any attempt to organize the only kind of political party that has EVER succeeded in leading the working class and peasantry to a victory over the capitalist class! Once you join our party, as part of your Trotskyist education you will learn how to “hear” what politicians do NOT say as well as you hear what they DO say!

The history of the workers revolutions of the 20th century also show us that the revolutionary forces of the working class are most effective when they are concentrated into as few a number of organizations as possible – especially during the revolutionary overthrow itself. The same effect is seen on the capitalist side in a time of revolution: all the pro-capitalist parties suddenly jettison their “democratic” masks and appear as an armed unified military force against the rising working class. Only an extremely well-organized revolutionary workers party can stand up to such a force: the Leninist Vanguard parties in the tiny countries of North Korea and Vietnam lost 3 MILLION workers – EACH! during their revolutionary struggles – and were still able to emerge victorious over the forces of the most powerful, ruthless and bloodthirsty capitalist class in the world: the US capitalist class! THAT is the kind of solid and resilient organization necessary; there’s nothing at all “spontaneous” about the organization of a successful workers revolution! So you can see that we are not making things up when we say that the need for the workers of the USA to immediately begin the process of the creation of such a party is the single most important task that lies ahead of you and your fellow workers!

In so far as the anti-Trump rally WAS “organized”, it was done by groups – like “Black Lives Matter” and “BYP100” – whose leadership is intensely loyal to the racist, anti-immigrant Democratic Party. These “leaders” to put it simply, have absolutely NO INTENTION of ever leading a revolutionary socialist vanguard party to overthrow capitalism, because they are PRO-CAPITALIST and believe that racism can be successfully fought via legal reforms. The problem with their theory is that people have been trying to fight racism in the USA “through the system” for 300 years; and though major gains have been made that way, the pace of reform remains excruciatingly slow and prone to periodic backsliding. Martin Luther King would be very dismayed at seeing that his Democratic Party is still leading racist police forces all over the USA that are gunning down people of color as if they were dogs. The reformists leading “Black Lives Matter” and other reformist anti-police brutality organizations who wish merely to “settle” for incremental reforms are telling you that they are “OK” with an occasional racist atrocity carried out by the police. Are YOU “OK” with that? WE AREN’T!

None of the single-issue reformist organizations “fighting” police brutality in the US are actively opposed to the future existence of the capitalist system which CREATES AND ENFORCES the racist status quo in the first place! What good is a doctor that prescribes mere pain killers for a dying patient when the CURE for the disease exists and is readily available? Any political “prescription” for fighting racism that does not include the overthrow of the capitalist system is a “prescription” for a life filled with pain and agony, followed, perhaps by death at the hands of the fascists! We oppose such doctors and their prescriptions! We don’t want to keep the racist capitalist system alive for even one more day, because we KNOW what that will mean: MORE DEAD BLACK AND HISPANIC YOUTHS SHOT DOWN ON OUR STREETS BY THE RACIST KILLER KOPS OF KAPITALISM! Go ahead and call us “unreasonable” and “extreme”! We will not compromise where the very lives of our working class sisters and brothers are at stake!

So if you would like to actually “cure” racism once and for all but putting a stop to the capitalist system that spawns it instead of keeping racism and capitalism alive so they can kill again and again, you should contact us! Check us out and give serious consideration to becoming a revolutionary Trotskyist worker-leader. We’re ready when you are; until you make this decision nothing will change.

Workers of the World, Unite!

IWPCHI

Report on NATO 3 Defendant Jared Chase’s Court Appearance 18 February 2016

DROP ALL CHARGES AGAINST JARED CHASE AND FREE HIM NOW!

At a pre-trial hearing held today (18 February, 2016), former NATO 3 defendant Jared Chase’s Cook County Public Defender Peter Benesh made an ineffectual attempt to obtain a court injunction prohibiting the shackling of Chase using a “black box” device, which causes physical injury to Chase, who suffers from Huntington’s Disease.  Chase was in court to answer to charges of “aggravated battery to a corrections officer” – a Class I offense, punishable by between 4 and 15 years in the penitentiary.  Yet Chase’s lawyer was repeatedly rebuffed by Cook County Court Judge Thaddeus Wilson for lack of preparation in not asking for this protective court order in the proper fashion.

We were informed about the hearing via the Twitter and WordPress accounts of   “Free the NATO 3”.

In our experience attending hearings like this one (since circa 1979), defendants have almost always had a legal defense campaign orchestrated by one or another revolutionary socialist party. Having had more than a century of experience defending class-war prisoners, the communists know how to run an effective defense campaign in a politically-charged case like this.  Understanding that, in political cases, legal precedent and rule of law have a tendency to fly out the window, the communists do not act as if it’s just “business as usual” defending a political activist:  they organize media campaigns to get out their side of the story in defense of the accused, make sure that their physical presence is asserted before every court hearing with a protest outside the “temple of justice” and make sure that the lawyers in the case understand the nature of how the capitalist frame-up system works in cases involving anti-capitalist political activists.  Effective tactics are employed to let the powers that be understand that the defendant does not stand alone in facing the charges; the revolutionary working class principle that “an injury to one is an injury to all” means that every worker in the USA – in fact, the revolutionary workers movement itself – is on trial, not just the defendant.  Inside the courtroom they stand in solidarity with the accused when the defendant’s name or names are called.  This always pisses off the judges – but the communists don’t mount defense campaigns for their comrades in order to have the opportunity to kiss a judge’s ass.  Communists understand that it is imperative to make it clear to both the accused person(s) and the court and spectators that THIS defendant is not fighting his or her case by themselves – he or she has a strong and militant base of supporters closely watching every development in the case.  Often times major court victories have been won only after huge national and international defense campaigns have made it politically extremely expensive for the bourgeoisie to railroad the defendant.  These class-struggle methods have worked time and time again to expose the injustice of the capitalist system to the world; they alert the working class to the vital necessity of NOT acting as if these cases are just “business as usual”.  The outrageous US government frame-up of the NATO 3  is an attempt by the capitalist state to intimidate the working class and crush political dissent.  Workers must be awakened to this fact and taught not to cower in the face of such criminal conspiracies that the capitalist class and its justice system continuously launch against worker-militants.

For activist groups who are not part of the revolutionary socialist movement, like the NATO 3 folks, these historical lessons have not been incorporated into their defense tactics.  Not having the revolutionary Marxist understanding that there is no justice for workers – especially communist or anarchist workers or trade union militants – in the capitalist courts, they tend to try to “play by the rules” of the court, allowing defense attorneys to kowtow to the judge’s every whim; they advise supporters to “keep a low profile” in and around the courtroom, often even going so far as to assert that the defense attorneys “know” this judge and know how best to “get on the good side of the judge” for a favorable ruling.  More often than not, these class-collaborationist tactics result in complete disaster, with the defendants getting the book thrown at them.  The defense attorneys then express “shock” at the “uncharacteristically severe” sentence handed out by their “friend” the judge.  Revolutionary Marxists don’t fall for this bullshit.

Having been informed by Jared Chase’s supporters’ websites that the hearing today would occur at 9AM, I made certain to arrive early so I could participate in the demonstration that would undoubtedly occur before the hearing.  But when I arrived at 8:45 AM, this is what I saw:

... not a goddamned thing! So excuse me for being disappointed.

… not a goddamned thing! So excuse me for being disappointed.

This was not good.  When I expressed my disappointment later to a handful of his supporters in the court gallery at not having seen the slightest hint of public protest outside the courthouse, I was chastised for being so arrogant in criticising them since  they had been attending all these hearings for all these years and I had not.  As if that matters in terms of the simple expression of disappointment at seeing NO evidence of support outside the courthouse TODAY!  These poor defense tactics usually don’t obtain much sympathy from the judges, who have been instructed by the political powers in the Cook County Democratic machine to “make an example” of the defendants.

While it is entirely understandable that Chase’s supporters are depressed and dismayed at the prospect of their friend spending up to 15 years in prison if he gets the maximum sentence possible in this case, that is no excuse for failing to organize an effective defense campaign and then expressing hostility towards supporters who express their dismay when they show up at court in response to an appeal for support and find no organized support at all!

Progress cannot be achieved by the workers movement if historical lessons go unlearned and if every generation just keeps making the same avoidable mistakes over and over and over again.  Our capitalist class opponents have centuries of experience buttressing their class rule; they learn from their failures and don’t repeat the same stupidity twice!  Likewise, the communist movement has nearly 200 years of experience fighting frame-ups in the courts of the capitalist classes all over the world.  To fail to take advantage of the hard-won experience of the revolutionary communist movement is a major error on the part of any activist group that finds its comrades in a situation like Jared Chase is in.

It was no surprise in this era of mass apathy among US workers that – in Chicago, a city of 4 million – a grand total of 9 supporters of Chase (including this reporter) made the trek to the Cook County Courthouse for the hearing.  It was held in a bizarre glassed-in courtroom in which spectators are entirely sealed off from the actual courtroom, which sits behind a semicircular glass-and-metal barrier that looks like something out of the original Star Wars movie.  No photos could be taken of the courtroom because in the “free and open” court system of Crooked Crook County, the Chief Justice has banned all cell phones from the premises.  Members of the public who wish to observe the proceedings in Cook County Courthouse at 26th St. and California Avenue in Chicago must not only pass a metal detector screening before entering the courthouse, but they must also place their cell phones, chargers and any other electronic recording devices in secure lockers (provided for free by the county) before they are allowed to enter the building.  The criminals running the farcical “justice” system  in Crook County Courthouse – widely acknowledged to be one of the most corrupt in the United States of America – must keep video and audio evidence of their many blatant miscarriages of justice hidden from the eyes of the working class at all costs.

The court hearing in room 303 (which was set for 9:00 AM according to the “Free the NATO 3” website ) never actually got underway until 10:05 when the “Honorable” Judge Thaddeus L. Wilson finally graced us with his presence.  Wilson, who is black, has hung a large framed color photograph of the Rev. Martin Luther King on the door behind the bench in order to give the appearance (to the uninitiated) that in his courtroom, the respected principles of Dr. King are upheld.  King would undoubtedly not be amused to know that his portrait is being utilized in this manner in a courtroom in Cook County, where brutal racist injustice is meted out daily to hundreds of primarily black and Hispanic defendants.  Hundreds of people of color are daily shipped to this County Courthouse for “kangaroo court”-style bond hearings at which it’s “your money or the next two months of your life” while you wait in jail for your trial.   Judge Wilson’s courtroom sits directly above a filthy, overcrowded basement prison dungeon where hundreds of people are crammed into holding cells awaiting trial; this is a place completely at odds with everything Dr. Martin Luther King stood for.

On the dark, smoked glass barrier that stands between the public and the “bar of justice” are affixed a number of printed and crudely hand-lettered signs threatening the citizenry – who are supposed to be those from whom Judge Wilson derives whatever limited power he actually possesses – not to do a multiplicity of things.  “Absolutely No Food or Drinks Allowed in this Courtroom” one declares.  “DO NOT ENTER UNLESS YOUR NAME IS CALLED” screams another.  If a citizen dares to enter the courtroom he or she has paid for many times over with their taxes – what would happen?  Would the altar of justice be rendered unclean by an unindicted citizen’s presence?  Would it have to be then reconsecrated to the gods of justice, Crook County-style?   No children are allowed to cry or call out to a parent, sister or brother they see being brought into the courtroom in handcuffs and prison rags: “Children must be kept quiet or you will be asked to leave!”  Surely Martin Luther King would endorse all this! A child crying out at seeing her father for perhaps the first time in months or even years would be cast out of the room by the “honorable” Judge Wilson!  Such is justice in Crooked Crook County, USA, run for the past 100 years by the “lesser evil” Democratic Party!  Everything is crooked about this place: the huge cockroaches at the jail skitter crookedly across the floors and the walls; even the birds flying over this place seem to fly sideways.  Let’s not even mention the crooked guards!

While we waited for Jared’s case to be called an attorney emerged from the courtroom into the spectators’ seating area to converse with his client, who was seated among us.  They openly discussed their strategy right there where it could be heard by all the court employees and the judge via the intercom system connecting both rooms.  There is no private place in this courthouse for attorneys and their clients to discuss their cases!  The image of Martin Luther King gazes pensively down from the wall of Judge Wilson’s courtroom upon this farce.  If only that portrait could come to life to tell Judge Wilson what it thinks about the monstrous scenes that have played out in that courtroom under its eyes day after day after brutal day!

Finally, at around 10:32 AM, Jared Chase is led into the courtroom.  As he enters, I stand up in solidarity.  “SIT DOWN!” bellows the “Honorable” Judge Thaddeus Wilson.

Chase is a big guy; 6 feet tall, perhaps a bit more.  Thinnish but well-muscled in his brownish v-necked prison shirt and matching brown pants, he looks as healthy as can be expected – given the circumstances of his confinement in a hellhole Illinois state prison in Pontiac – to me, who has never seen him before.  But to his friends he “looks very thin and gaunt, and his health is visibly not well.”

Chase stands erect, calm and collected; his hands are not manacled but I can’t see his feet.

There is some preliminary chatter between the judge, prosecutor and Jared’s Public Defender Benesh.  Then Benesh asks the judge for a court order to prevent Chase’s being manacled with what is called a “black box”.

"Black Box" restraint. Used to attach chains from leg irons to wrist cuffs and chain waist belt.

“Black Box” restraint. Used to attach chains from leg irons to wrist cuffs and chain waist belt.

This high-security restraint is usually only used for the most dangerous inmates: murderers and terrorists.  In spite of the fact that all of the “terrorism charges” that the government had brought against the NATO 3 were repudiated by the jury in the original trial, Chase is still being periodically subjected to this abuse by the prison screws when they transfer him to court for trial.

Benesh is asking the judge for a “court order” prohibiting the use of the “black box” on Chase.  He states that there is an existing doctors’ order that these restraints not be used on Chase due to his suffering from Huntington’s Disease, which causes sufferers to shake uncontrollably.  This shaking, combined with the harsh restraints, has been found to be causing injury to Chase, Benesh explains.  The use of harsh restraints “cuts off circulation” of blood in Chase’s hands.

Who do you want me to order to stop using the restraints?” asks Judge Wilson?

Benesh appears to be somewhat taken aback by the question.

“Who do you want the court order to be issued to?  Eye-Doc?” asks the judge again, indicating the acronym for the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), as if to prompt Benesh… who appears to fumble for an answer.

“In terms of transport…” Benesh begins to reply.  “We are asking that the least restrictive means possible should be used.”  He describes a less physically punishing type of restraint known to be used by IDOC.

Judge Wilson advises Benesh to “talk to IDOC… I am not in a position to order such a thing.  You can file a Federal lawsuit against IDOC if they are not following doctors’ recommendations.  If it’s within my authority I’ll do it.  I don’t know of any need for extra security.  But just based on oral statements  I’m not going to do anything.”

It appeared that Benesh was unprepared to properly ask Judge Wilson for a court order, having not submitted to the court any legal document for the judge to review and sign!  Not only that, but Benesh seemed uncertain who it was that he wanted the judge to order to stop using the “black box” restraint!  Unbelievably poor preparation for the hearing by Benesh – not at all atypical for the Public Defenders here in the “Land of the Free(TM)”.

It’s pretty outrageous that the Public Defender’s Office had their client dragged in chains all the way to Cook County Jail from the dungeon at Pontiac Correctional Center – a distance of 100 miles – so they could challenge the state’s use of cruel restraints used when he is transported from jail to court and back, causing physical harm to him – and then the PD wasn’t even prepared to properly ask for and obtain the court order necessary to get the chains removed!  Sadly, this kind of third-rate legal defense for the poor is common, not only in Crooked Crook County but all over the USA – and in all the “advanced” countries of the capitalist world.

Benesh then asked for a status hearing to be set for March 23rd.  He appeared not to have submitted any requests for discovery of evidence such as videos of the alleged physical altercations between Chase and prison guards that led to the present assault on a prison officer charges against Chase.

The judge agrees to set a status hearing for March 23rd at 9AM and for the trial to begin on April 11th of 2016.  Chase is dismissed and I stand up again in solidarity as he leaves; and I and all Chase’s friends and supporters leave the courtroom.

Moments later Public Defender Benesh comes out into the hallway and I introduce myself and ask him for his business card.  He says “no problem” and goes back into the courtroom to take care of some other legal business.  After a few minutes he comes back out again, accompanied by a female colleague, and I ask him a few questions.

I had heard from one of Chase’s supporters that there might be video evidence available in this case.  Is Benesh aware of any?  “Not that I’m aware of; and I don’t know if it would be helpful or not if there was” he replied.  Surprised at his answer I ask “really?  No videos at all?”  (There are cameras all over the jails).  “No I don’t know of any”.  “Have you asked if there was any such evidence through the discovery process?” “No.” he replied.

“The next hearing on March 23rd; will Jared have to appear in court again for that?” I ask.  “Yes, he’ll be appearing at all of the hearings”.  This is a real ordeal for Chase, who has to come, shackled, all the way from Pontiac to Chicago, especially considering his health.

“What is the specific offense Chase is charged with and what are the potential penalties?” I inquire.

“He is charged with ‘aggravated battery to a corrections officer’, which is a ‘Class I’ offense, punishable by 4-15 years in prison” Benesh replies.  Very serious, indeed.  (For a description of the incident as related in a letter from Chase to a supporter, click here).

I ask Benesh if he has been on the case from the beginning of the NATO 3 trial; he says: “I just got this case two weeks ago from my colleague in the Public Defender’s Office.  I had nothing to do with the earlier case; this case has nothing to do with the original one”.  But of course, this is not true at all!  This case has EVERYTHING to do with the earlier case; Chase is a political prisoner who was framed up by undercover cops in the first place!  If that frame-up hadn’t been successful, this assault case would never have occurred!

This is what we meant earlier in this article when we spoke of the danger of having inexperienced defense attorneys who do not understand the difference between a typical criminal case and one involving a political frame-up.  This lawyer appears to be unaware of the very political nature of the charges his client is facing.  “Business as usual”; just another assault case in the hideously overloaded docket of the vastly understaffed and underfunded Public Defender’s office.

It’s too bad that the crew of “Free the NATO 3” supporters didn’t bother to talk to this new defense attorney for their comrade!  They had all just walked away from the courtroom without even bothering to talk to their comrade’s new lawyer!

It was not a very impressive performance by the “Free the NATO 3” defense campaign.

Later on that evening, I checked the “Free the NATO 3” WordPress site to obtain more background information about the case and to see if they had written a report about the hearing; commendably, as we stated above, they had. Their article criticises that I stood up in solidarity with Chase as he was led into the courtroom: “While prisoner supporters have employed the tactic often to stand up when the defendant’s name is called in various cases, Judge Thadeus [sic – IWPCHI] Wilson issued an injunction in the NATO 3 case preventing supporters from doing so, and does not respond kindly to this. So please remain seated when Jay’s name is called, as protest tactics or standing up only backfires on Jay.”

This expresses quite clearly the touching faith that these so-called “anarchists” have in the “impartiality” of the US capitalist “justice” system!

The “Free the NATO 3” website operated by these folks appears to offer a decent amount of information about the case – including copies of Judge Wilson’s outrageous piece-of-shit injunction against displays of class solidarity for political prisoners who appear in “his” courtroom.  Unfortunately, the amateurishness of the anarcho-reformists reared its ugly head again when we tried to download a copy of this fine example of legal treachery; we received a “404- File Not Found” error.  We left a message on that page so the website admins could fix the problem; checking it again today a week later, we found that it has still not been corrected.  We left another message, for what it’s worth.

***

This should serve as a warning to young activists trying to decide between joining a revolutionary socialist organization or a more loosely organized “anarchist” or other activist group.  It a choice between joining a party of organized, disciplined revolutionaries who will know how to avoid a cheap police entrapment scheme and defend you if you get framed up on bogus charges or joining a group that will fall right into a trap set by a pair of half-assed Police Explorers who infiltrate their organization on the first try.  In a revolutionary socialist party, youth members are taught about the history of police entrapment schemes; internal party discipline requires them to report provocations like the one launched against the NATO 3 defendants to party leaders, who know how to deal with these things properly.  It would be almost impossible for this kind of entrapment scam to ensnare a youth member of a revolutionary Trotskyist party; for amateur “activist” and “anarchist” organizations, this is not the case.  So choose wisely when you choose the revolutionary political organization you want to join.

***

One last glimpse of the “justice” that takes place in the “Honorable” Judge Thaddeus L. Wilson’s judicial chamber of horrors:

A tall, well-groomed black man in a new winter jacket stands calmly before the dais upon which Judge Wilson sits.  A few feet to his  right, a middle-aged, stooped blonde white female Assistant District Attorney is trying to make this man look like Capone times ten.  She rattles off a seemingly endless number of arrests and convictions for petty offenses this man has suffered all his life for the “crime” of being a black man living in Democratic Party-run Crooked Crook County.  She chatters on: case after case, from the 1990s to the present.  Only after she has made it up to June of 2008 does the “Honorable” Judge Wilson stop her, saying tiredly: “That’s enough.  I get the picture”.

Perhaps it was a trick of the light, refracted through the smoked glass barrier of the courtroom… but we swear we saw the left hand of Dr. King move in front of his eyes; his shoulders seemed to heave spasmodically.  He appeared to be crying.

Thanks to the poor defense work today by Atty. Peter Benesh of the Crook County Public Defender’s Office, Jared Chase will once again most likely by dragged in chains – including the “black box” apparatus that is causing him physical harm – from Pontiac “Correctional” Center to Crook County Courthouse for his next status hearing on March 23; his trial is scheduled to begin on April 11.

— IWPCHI

 

 

 

 

 

Prosecutors Get Indictments from Grand Juries 95% of Time – Unless They Are Pretending to Attempt to Indict a Cop

In Ferguson, MO, the citizens are nervously and angrily awaiting the decision of a Missouri Grand Jury regarding whether or not the cop who wantonly murdered Michael Brown will be indicted for murder or not.

In Gretna, Florida a similar situation exists: there, members of yet another black family mourning the cop murder of one of their kids await the “verdict” of a Grand Jury decision as to whether or not a local cop will be indicted for the murder of a mentally ill unarmed youth – shot to death in his own home after his mother called the cops to help her handle her son’s refusal to go with her to a local hospital for treatment.

The likely outcome in both cases?  The cops will be acquitted by the Grand Jury and the respective towns will quite justifiably erupt in anger against the grave injustice that has been committed by the police and a justice system in which there is no justice for workers – especially if they “happen to be black”.  It is a fact of the U.S. Criminal Injustice System that even though prosecutors can get Grand Juries to indict 95% of the time, “somehow” they almost always fail to do so when the accused is a cop. “The fix is in” every time when it’s a cop facing a potential murder charge. We fully expect that the Mike Brown case in Ferguson, MO will not be an exception to this rule.

Grand Juries in the United States are notoriously unfair.

There is a famous legal saying that Grand Juries are so biased in favor of the prosecution that they could be expected “to indict a ham sandwich”.  The Wikipedia article on “Grand Juries in the United States” quotes from “Eliminate the Grand Jury” a much-cited 1973 essay by the late William J. Campbell –  a US Attorney and at one time the longest serving Chief Judge in the Northern District Federal Court in Chicago – in which he calls for the complete elimination of the corrupt Federal Grand Jury system: ” “[T]oday, the grand jury is the total captive of the prosecutor who, if he is candid, will concede that he can indict anybody, at any time, for almost anything, before any grand jury.” Campbell cites a famous study of the Grand Jury system by

A couple of months ago, a friend of ours was present at a local “temple” of notoriously racist justice here in Chicago’s Crooked C[r]ook County: the infamous Skokie Courthouse (where the conviction rate is an astoundingly Saddam-Hussein-regime-like 90 percent plus). There, he overheard two cops babbling to each other in the inimitable, timeless manner of all pigs throughout human history.  When they started stupidly yapping about one of their recent experiences as a member of a Grand Jury in Chicago, he opened up his ears real wide and grabbed a notebook and started jotting down their priceless nuggets of pig-wisdom.

The babblers were a METRA cop who was just about to enter a courtroom and casually commit perjury in an extremely minor trespassing case (with the likely cooperation and approval of the crooked Crook County prosecutors seeking to maintain their scandalous .900-plus batting average); his interlocutor was a Crook County Sheriffs cop – the bailiff.  Here is the edited conversation – they were already talking about service on a Grand Jury:

Crook County Bailiff (CCB): “It’s like a reunion – you know everyone there – ‘hey, how’s it going?’ ”

METRA cop (MC):  “We heard 899 cases [over 5 weeks – June 2nd to July 3rd]. Not a bad gig.  I had to testify before the Grand Jury 3 weeks before.”

CCB: [I’ve never been on one but my dad was a Chicago cop and he was on several. He said] it was real good money.”

MC: “Oh, yeah!”

Our friend could not resist asking the METRA cop: “Did you indict any ham sandwiches while you were there?”  The bailiff looked at him and said “what?”

He apparently had never heard that one before.  So our friend repeated the question.  Both cops looked at him uncomprehendingly.  Our friend, not wanting to miss the opportunity to pursue the question rephrased it: “Were there any cases that you did not indict?”

MC: “We can’t discuss anything about what goes on there.”

Our friend replied: “That’s OK: I already know the answer.”

[The cops resumed their conversation on other topics.  This doesn’t relate to the Grand Jury but it’s interesting to see what motivates cops – it ain’t “serving the public”. – IWPCHI]

MC: “One of the drawbacks working as a cop for Chicago is you got to live in the city.”

CCB (agreeing): “Uh huh. You guys [meaning METRA cops] get to live anywhere you want.”

MC: “Yeah we’ve got guys living everywhere.  We’ve got a guy who lives in Indiana, a K9 cop: [he’s got a] take-home car…”

CCB: “Cooool”.

MC: “Union Pacific [Railroad] cops get to take home an unmarked car… they’re considered management so they make in the 80’s to 90’s… [thousands of dollars a year – IWPCHI]. […] Lot of guys getting overtime tonight – Jay-Z/Beyonce concert.  They work for SPI.”  [most likely Security Professionals of Illinois]

Screenshot from SPI Incorporated video: SPI Level 2 Taser Training Final Cut

Screenshot from SPI Incorporated video: SPI Level 2 Taser Training Final Cut

[This is another good example of how nearly every story we research leads right into another seedy scandal that would bear investigating.  Thanks to our limited resources, this one’s going to get a pass for the time being…]

IWPCHI

 

 

 

 

 

ACTIVIST ALERT! Unidentified Mobile Surveillance Device Spotted Again in Morton Grove, IL on Unlicensed Car

In our last post we alerted our readers to the existence of a strange operation being run in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, where an apparent photographic surveillance vehicle seems to be undergoing real-world testing, crewed by a team of 4 men in two vehicles, who refuse to divulge even a plausible cover story for their project.

This past weekend we received another photo of this device, again in Morton Grove, stopping at the drive-up window at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Dempster just west of Waukegan Rd.  This is clearly the same test vehicle we described in our last article; however, in this photo you can clearly see that the test vehicle is driving around without a license plate of any kind.

Unidentified surveillance vehicle sporting no license plate at all, queuing up at Dunkin' Donuts... a clue?  Cops noted for their love of donuts!

Unidentified surveillance vehicle sporting no license plate at all, queuing up at Dunkin’ Donuts in Morton Grove, IL, 7 September 2014.  Photo by IWPCHI correspondent.

We contacted our correspondent who provided us with the photos for our earlier essay and he confirmed that he had also noticed that the test vehicle was plateless, and forgot to mention that fact.  He said he didn’t notice it at first because he was so busy examining the surveillance device that he missed that important detail; but later, after he had been asked by the surveillance team member to cease taking photos, he saw that the test vehicle had no license plate.  He theorized at that time that perhaps it had one but the team had removed it prior to parking their vehicle in its storage space at Public Storage, 8625 Waukegan Rd. in Morton Grove, IL.

Closeup of unidentified test vehicle, 7sep14, showing lack of license plate.

Closeup of unidentified test vehicle, 7sep14, showing lack of license plate.

This photo, taken on 31 August 2014 at the Public Storage on Waukegan Rd. in Morton Grove, IL, a closeup reveals that at that time as well, the test vehicle was driving without a license plate.

This photo, taken on 31 August 2014 at the Public Storage on Waukegan Rd. in Morton Grove, IL, reveals that at that time as well, the test vehicle was driving without a license plate.

Our suspicions about this vehicle are given a boost with this latest information.  If this was some kind of benign research vehicle being operated by a university research group or even most US Government agencies (like the United States Geological Survey, for instance), it would no doubt carry a government-issued license plate and the team members would not be so touchy about people photographing their vehicle.  Also, they would not hesitate to inform the public about the purpose of the vehicle and the project that it is part of.  If this was a CIA or FBI vehicle, there would likely have been a more carefully-thought-out cover story for the team members to trot out in case any inquisitive members of the public inquired as to what they were doing.  The simple fact that this vehicle has been quite openly driving around Morton Grove/Niles IL for at least a week without a license plate proves to us that it is not a civilian project nor is it a typical local, state or governmental operation.  Perhaps the strangeness of the vehicle is designed to arouse suspicion so pedestrians and drivers will look directly at it and be all the more easily photographed.  We believe that the configuration of the (at least) 4 cameras on the right and left front sides of the device would facilitate the production of high-resolution 3-dimensional images that would be useful for face recognition purposes.

It so happens that Morton Grove, IL has one of the few mosques in the near northern suburbs, catering to the rather substantial population of Muslims living on the north side of Chicago and its near northern suburbs; and it is entirely possible that surveillance of the local Muslim population is part of this mysterious and sinister project.

So, our guess is that this thing is being operated either by a contractor for the US government who wishes to sell it to the USG for whatever purpose, or it is being operated by a domestic Illinois police agency – possibly NIPAS – that is road testing the vehicle for use in their sinister operations.

Though we did not get a license plate from the test vehicle, our original set of photos provides us with a very clear image of the license plate of the escort vehicle:

31 August 2014: Public Storage, Waukegan Rd., Morton Grove, IL: Close-up of license plate for escort SUV for unidentified surveillance vehicle - aWhite, 4-door GMC SUV: IL Lic. S16 8319

31 August 2014: Public Storage, Waukegan Rd., Morton Grove, IL: Close-up of license plate of escort SUV for unidentified surveillance vehicle – a White, 4-door GMC SUV: IL LIC. S16 8319

This photo also provides us with an image of the man who accosted our initial correspondent and asked him to cease photographing the surveillance vehicle:

31 August 2014, Public Storage, Morton Grove, IL: closeup of agent escorting unidentified surveillance vehicle: black male, approximately 30 yrs old, 5'9, 200 lbs., casually dressed.

31 August 2014, Public Storage, Morton Grove, IL: closeup of agent escorting unidentified surveillance vehicle: black male, approximately 30 yrs old, 5’9, 200 lbs., casually dressed.

 

We again ask our readers, especially those who live on the north side of Chicago and the north and northwest suburbs to be on the alert for this vehicle and to be prepared to take photos, videos and to videotape any interviews you can get from the crews inside both the test vehicle and the escort vehicle.  Be aware that we have confirmed that there are at least 2 vehicles accompanying the main test vehicle, with at least 4 men (2 in each car) on this surveillance team.  Approaching them alone or in secluded areas of the city might not be the best idea.  Be prepared to immediately send your photos home via email or web so that these operatives cannot seize your camera and delete the photos or videos.  Then send us your photos or videos and we will post them anonymously on our website.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

 

 

 

New Surveillance Device Being Tested in Chicago Suburbs? What IS This Thing?

A correspondent sent us the following report and accompanying photographs of what appears to be a prototype of a new mobile surveillance device which is apparently being tested in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

It was photographed at a storage facility in Morton Grove, IL, where it was being operated by one man who was part of a team of as many as 5 men who were accompanying or escorting the main vehicle with the prototype surveillance device.

Here is our correspondents’ report:

“A friend and I were at his storage space in Morton Grove chilling out and drinking a few beers on Aug 31 when my friend noticed what he said was a car with a bunch of cameras on the roof.  I thought he’d been in the sun too long; I could see that there was a weird looking thing on the car’s roof but I’m couldn’t see it clearly because I’d left my glasses at home.  My buddy walked past the vehicle on his way to the bathroom and when he came back he said he’d never seen anything like it and they must be some kind of cops or something.  So I walked over and took a look.  As soon as I got near the vehicle with the cameras, I could see it was something really strange and so I whipped out my cell and started shooting pictures of the thing. 

Unidentified surveillance device spotted in Morton Grove, IL on August 31, 2014. "Test engineer" is sitting in the passenger seat.

Unidentified surveillance device spotted in Morton Grove, IL on August 31, 2014. “Test engineer” is sitting in the passenger seat.

“There was a guy sitting in the passenger’s seat with what looked like a laptop computer closed up in his lap; the driver was somewhere else.  I asked the guy “What is this thing?”  He said that “it’s for surveying roads”.  Not satisfied with that answer I asked him: “for who?”.  He said he didn’t know who the customer was and that he was just helping to test the device to make sure it was working well. 

“I started to examine it more closely to see if it had a manufacturer’s name tag on it somewhere and went around to the opposite side of the vehicle to take pics of the other side.  So far as I could see there were no decals identifying the manufacturer of the device.  It wasn’t a drone; it had no propellers or fuel tank that I could see.  It was apparently designed to sit on the roof of the car.  As I got ready to take the picture, a man got out of the passenger’s side of a second vehicle parked beside the test vehicle and told me that I should stop taking pictures of the device.  He said “it’s not a public space”.  I immediately took another picture and told him that that was nonsense because it was certainly in a public place and anyone had a right to take pictures of it. I asked him what it was and he said “that doesn’t matter” or something like that.

Unidentified surveillance device spotted in Morton Grove, IL on August 31, 2014.

Unidentified surveillance device spotted in Morton Grove, IL on August 31, 2014.

He made no attempt to physically prevent me from photographing and just went back to his car.  The driver got out at the same time but just stood there and said nothing and made no attempt to stop me from taking photos.  They were mildly intimidating though, so when they got back in their car I turned around and took a photo of their car so I could get their license plate.

Escort vehicle accompanying unidentified surveillance device spotted in Morton Grove, IL on August 31, 2014.

Escort vehicle accompanying unidentified surveillance device spotted in Morton Grove, IL on August 31, 2014.

“I then walked to the bathroom and noticed another guy walking towards me from the bathroom as I headed in that direction.  He must have been the driver of the test vehicle.  He said nothing and just walked past me.

“I have seen these guys back at the same location; they appear to be storing the device in that storage facility and have been driving it around for the past several days at least.”

This could very well be an innocuous surveyor’s vehicle or even a test bed for some kind of scientific instrument of some kind; or it could be a “Google Street View”-type surveillance device – who knows?  If any of our readers have any insights into what this thing is, leave a comment and we’ll try to figure it out.

Full sized image - left front of device

Full sized image – left front of device

 

Full-sized image; right rear side of device

Full-sized image; right rear side of device

IWPCHI

 

Revolutionary Greetings to the Workers Attending the 56th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show!

If an alien spaceship was to fly over North Avenue Beach this weekend during the Chicago Air and Water Show, undoubtedly some of the crew would laugh at the stupidity of the human race, madly applauding the spectacle of a display of weapons of mass destruction designed for the sole purpose of – destroying the human race. But it would be as likely that one member of their crew, in possession of a finer knowledge of the history of their own civilization, would point out to his comrades that “it wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were struggling to evolve past the nuclear age”.

What you are witnessing this weekend is the singular spectacle of allegedly civilized human beings teaching their children to approve of our nation’s annual expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons systems capable of bringing about the complete extinction of the human race. It’s a snapshot of life in the United States as humanity struggles through our own nuclear age, hopefully to a higher level of civilization – if we don’t kill ourselves first.

We see our fellow workers and their families arrayed on North Avenue Beach in Chicago to celebrate the thrilling technology our nation’s military can use to slaughter our fellow human beings – right in the midst of the City of Chicago, the murder capital of the USA, where the city government is contemplating the deployment of the Illinois National Guard, armed to the teeth, to patrol the city’s streets in order to “prevent violence”. The citizens of this fair city, you see, are so “up in arms” about gun violence taking place in many of the city’s neighborhoods – “senseless violence” they call it – that they are considering overthrowing their own Constitutional protections against the deployment of military forces to quell domestic disturbances by deploying the military (whose own weapons make the pitiful arsenals of the city’s gangs look like a box of water pistols) to “stop the violence”. It makes us wonder if there is to be found anywhere on this planet a nation as dumb as ours is.

“Why are our children killing one another?” we hear our neighbors cry. “Where does this savage impulse to kill come from?” “What can we do to stop the violence that threatens us on our streets, in our schools and in our workplaces?”

Is it so hard to figure out? The violence comes from the class that runs this country – the US capitalist class – that takes our unemployed daughters and sons and gives them jobs as soldiers, pilots and weapons designers, and who deploy our children all over the world to protect their investments overseas, and to slaughter anyone who dares to oppose the robber barons of the US capitalist class. Our children are taught to accept violence – real violence, the military kind – every day in school, where ROTC programs recruit young women and men to join the military and live a life of “adventure” – adventure that consists of rampaging across the face of the Earth killing their fellow human beings in defense of the U.S. capitalist class and their global investment portfolios. The news media tells us that the most heroic of all our citizens are “our” soldiers who are all “heroes” for “defending our nation”. Hollywood churns out movies and TV shows extolling the noble sacrifice of our nation’s armed forces, deployed all over the world to “fight for freedom” and to wage war on “terrorism”. Our children are taught to believe, by the capitalist class’ bought-and-paid-for politicians, that the final solution to every seemingly intractable human problem lies in bombing those recalcitrant people into submission.

But it isn’t just the US capitalist class and its government and media conglomerates that brainwash our children into worshipping the “military solution” to all human problems; it is YOU, fellow workers! who are teaching your children, by taking them to this festival of the weapons of mass murder and showing them how exciting it is, how beautiful the weapons are, how powerful armed women and men are to change the world for the better, that a better life is possible for us all through mass murder! You, who would raise hell if a swimming instructor “inappropriately touched” your son or daughter during a swimming lesson, and who scream “CHILD ABUSE!” when advertisements are mailed to your home showing a beautiful woman’s (almost) naked body, who think nothing at all of bringing your young and even infant children to the Air and Water Show to praise the glory of our nation’s ability to rain death and destruction on our working-class brothers and sisters all over the world!

Why do you, fellow workers, living here in Chiraq – the murder capital of the USA – bring your children to celebrate weapons of mass destruction which are being used – as you sit there on North Avenue Beach, idiotically “oohing” and “aahing” – in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine and a host of other nations to butcher human beings – your fellow workers and their families?

Why do the same disgusting capitalist politicians like the odious Rahm Emanuel, in the middle of such violence taking place on the streets of Chicago, present to the citizens this festival of celebration of the revolting, savage aspect of the human race?

The reason is twofold. One: to dull your innate sense of hatred and revulsion for the weapons of war, to awe you with the power of the ruling class that daily robs you and your family of the necessities of life in order to spend hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth generated through your own sweat and blood and used to slaughter your fellow workers overseas – all in pursuit of the US capitalist class’ insatiable lust for PROFITS; and Two: to scare the hell out of you and your children so you will not dare to fight for your rights against forces poised to be unleashed upon YOU and YOUR FAMILIES should you ever dare to rise up against your exploiters! In the final analysis all this weaponry is designed to defend the filthy rich US capitalist class from “all enemies, foreign and domestic” – including YOU should you dare to fight for higher wages, to defend yourselves from the brutal racist cops rampaging through the streets of our nation armed to the teeth and daily shooting down in cold blood anyone who stands up to their brutality! YOU, brothers and sisters are the source of the fear engendered in the cold hearts of the US capitalist class, who are deploying their weapons of mass destruction throughout the land to protect the 1% from YOU, the working class, who they rob every day of the blood, sweat and tears of your family and its labor in the factories and shops of the capitalist class and whose sons and daughters are sent out to kill and be killed so the US capitalist class can amass even greater fortunes for themselves while you struggle to feed, clothe, shelter, educate and provide basic health care services for yourselves and your families!

These weapons of mass destruction, these highly-trained teams of assassins and murderers the capitalist class and its media hacks teach you to believe to be heroes your children should one day strive to be like, this machinery of mass murder you applaud has, in the final analysis, YOU and YOUR CHILDREN in its sights! Because only YOU have the power to rip the guns out of the hands of the capitalist class and their cops and military – and the capitalists fear your power to do that above all else! It is your children who pull the triggers on the guns and cannon; it is YOUR children who fly the planes, drop the bombs, and kill innocent civilians – families just like yours! Only YOU can put an end to this repulsive national worship of the Pentagon’s tools of mass murder that is the REAL SOURCE of the violence on the streets of our nation!

We are revolutionary socialists – Trotskyists – and it is a principle of our political movement that the working class of the United States – and that of all nations – has no enemies, since we know that all of the people of this planet, of every skin color and every religion and nationality – are descended from common ancestors that lived about 100,000 years ago. Science has proven to us that, as Karl Marx said more than 150 years ago, “All workers are brothers and sisters”. The workers and peasants of China are not our enemies; nor are the workers of Russia, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Iran, Palestine, Pakistan, Yemen or any other nation you can name. All the workers of the world we consider to be our sisters and brothers. We understand that the real enemies of the workers are not our fellow workers overseas whom our national capitalist class tries to get us to hate; our real enemies are the billionaires and millionaires on Wall St. and on Main St., who systematically rob us of the product of our labor every time we go to work, every time we purchase anything and who try to get us to hate our fellow workers overseas so that they can get us to send our sons and daughters into the military where they can be used by the capitalists to defend their hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign investments all over the globe. In Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, all over the world, the US capitalist class is trying to seize the mineral wealth of other nations for their own selfish personal gain; and they teach our children the dark arts of war in order to steal through military conquest what they can not or do not wish to pay for. It is tax money systematically stolen from your paychecks every week that is used to pay for these weapons of mass destruction you are cheering for that enables them to go around the globe raping the environment and slaughtering the human beings that stand between the US capitalist class and the natural resources that they seek to steal in order to feed their unquenchable thirst for more and more money!

You see the Blue Angels? Imagine that those jets were on their way to your neighborhood to drop bombs on your house because you were the head of a political movement trying to organize opposition to the US war machine. Imagine what would happen to your children if those Ospreys were used to attack your family while you were celebrating a wedding in your yard; imagine those Navy Seals attacking your friends’ house next door. Imagine that it was not a T.V. show or a video game, but a real-life massacre like those that have happened repeatedly to families in Afghanistan, Iraq, in Palestine, Vietnam, North Korea and all over the world where the US capitalist class has deployed these very same weapons of mass destruction that you sit there and applaud, with your children joining in – in imitation of you.

You’d better think about it, because, more and more, the police forces of the United States are being given military-grade weapons; helicopters, grenades, machine guns and all the weapons of war necessary to defend the interests of the US capitalist class from what they KNOW is an inevitable struggle by the working class of the US to fight for higher wages and better working and living conditions. They know that, sooner or later, you are going to be forced to fight for your rights at work, and that you will seek to create political parties THAT THEY CAN’T BRIBE OR CONTROL to defend your rights as workers. You don’t realize this yet – but they do. And they are getting ready for you, as you can see every time the workers of Chicago try to oppose the machinations of the US capitalist class. The deployment of heavily armed police forces in military formations, armed with weapons of mass murder in the cities and even the small towns of the United States is not happening by accident. The capitalist class knows what it wants, and it knows how to get it – and it isn’t always going to be by asking nicely first – and then sticking it to you like they did to Chicago’s teachers last year. As the police response you’ve seen this week in Ferguson, Missouri proves (where the entire police force consists of only 53 cops): even in a tiny town like Ferguson, the police possess weapons indistinguishable from those given to US military units overseas – and they’re trained and willing to use them, children! The class war is coming home, and it is headed for your front door, brothers and sisters. The Obama Administration has even gone so far as to obtain from the US Department of Justice the legal authority to order the assassination of US citizens for writing things and for hanging around with people the US capitalist class doesn’t like! And why has the capitalist class given the NSA the green light to spy on every single phone call, Internet search and email you and your family sends to anyone, anywhere? Are they afraid of you, the loyal members of the US working class?

Now that we’ve drawn your attention to the reality of what it means to celebrate the weapons of mass destruction that the US capitalist class and their mass-murdering military, we’d like to put you on the spot and ask you: knowing all that we’ve told you, do you still wish to wave the flag of U.S. imperialism and teach your children to worship the U.S. war machine? If the answer is “yes”, then you – by your support of this war machine that is being unleashed every day against your fellow human beings – declare yourselves to be the enemies of human civilization and have absolutely no right to complain when you, personally, are held accountable for the war crimes being committed every day in your name. By supporting the U.S. war machine you must accept responsibility for the murders of civilians being committed every day, all over the world by the U.S. military and the C.I.A., who use the very same weapons of mass destruction you have bought, paid for (and which you worship) to commit mass murder and the assassination of untold thousands of your fellow workers around the world – and who now are even assassinating your fellow citizens!

Now that you’ve read this article, you know that the real reason why the U.S. military is deployed all over the world is not to “defend your freedom” – neither Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, China, North Korea nor Cuba possess any means of attacking the United States, and the workers of those countries have never attempted to do so – but to defend the current and planned future foreign investments of the U.S. capitalist class in all these nations – investments being made not to improve your lives or the lives of the people where the investments are made, but simply to make the tiny number of U.S. billionaires and millionaires who own half our nation’s wealth – just that much more obscenely wealthy.  Now you know that the very same U.S. capitalist class that uses its war machine to commit mass murder around the world is the same gang of greedheads that robs you and your family blind every time you go to work or purchase anything from toothpicks to land mines – and you support this! 

And here’s another bit of information for you who worship your own exploiters and their weapons of mass destruction: now that you have read this article, you can no longer pretend to your friends and family that “you didn’t know” the truth about the U.S. capitalist class and what they are really about and what they are really using their military for!  By having read this explanation of precisely what it means to applaud and to teach your innocent children to applaud the murderous, repulsive war machine that the U.S. capitalist class uses to physically destroy every worker in the world who dares to oppose their global thievery – and in spite of this knowledge, still continuing to support the U.S. capitalist class and its war machine – you have become, now, a CONSCIOUS ENEMY OF THE HUMAN RACE!  Congratulations!

One more point we’d like to make before we let you go: you may think that the U.S. war machine can be counted upon to protect you from the very justified wrath of the workers of the world whom you declare to be your enemies by supporting the U.S. capitalists’ war machine that murders them… but know this:  the United States of America represents just 4.5% of the world’s population!  If you believe that there is a future for a nation that represents just 4.5% of the world’s population yet that thinks that it can – through sheer military brutality – force the other 95.5% of the world’s human beings into a state of abject surrender, you are wrong – and you and your nation are doomed to suffer the fate of the last genocidalist capitalist class which dared to attempt such an exercise in futility: the universally-hated German capitalist class that financed Adolf Hitler’s rise to power!

Enjoy the show!

IWPCHI

Exclusive: Report from 14 November Hearing to Obtain Class-Action Status for 100 Incarcerated Chicago Police Torture Victims

Part of the small but spirited gathering of political activists showing their support for imprisoned victims of Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge’s Torture Squad outside Cook County Criminal Courts Building, 14 November 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

[NOTE TO READERS:  As thrilling as it must be for you to read our scintillating prose, if you wish to simply get to the transcript of remarks made immediately after today’s hearing by Peoples Law Office attorney Joey Mogul, skip down to the bottom of this article. – IWPCHI]

Cook County Criminal Courts Building, Chicago, IL (November 14):
Lawyers from the People’s Law Office appeared in Cook County (IL) Court today to pursue their goal of obtaining class-action status for the 100 still-imprisoned victims of the  infamous Chicago Police Department Commander Jon Burge’s torture squad.

A typically small (for a largely brainwashed and apathetic Chicago working-class population of over 3 million) but spirited demonstration in support of the imprisoned torture victims was held before the court hearing began.  Initiated by the “Campaign to End Torture” group led by Mark Clements – himself a formerly incarcerated victim of the Chicago Police Department’s torture squad – this group of approximately 30 people set up a picket line directly in front of the Cook County Courthouse building and let everyone entering the building know why we were there: to demand that all imprisoned victims of the CPD’s torture gang be released immediately.

Friends and family of Stanley Howard participate in demonstration on behalf of Chicago Police Department torture victims outside Cook County Criminal Courts Building, Chicago, IL, 14 November, 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

Several different groups were represented in the protest: “Campaign to End Torture” was there, as was one representative of the Independent Workers Party of Chicago; at least two members of the Socialist Workers Party and a couple of folks from Occupy Chicago, who brought a long banner presenting the names of every known incarcerated torture victim still languishing in the Illinois prison system.  Significantly present were several family members of imprisoned victims of Jon Burge’s CPD torture squad, including a group of supporters of Stanley Howard (www.freestanleyhoward.com).

Half of the banner brought by Occupy Chicago supporters listing the 100 names of known imprisoned victims of Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge’s torture squad outside Cook County Criminal Courts building in Chicago, IL, 14 November, 2012. Photo by IWPCHI

Notably not present were some of the most prominent socialist groups in the city, including the International Socialists Organization (ISO), the Spartacist League and the Sparts’ Partisan Defense Committee, a group allegedly dedicated to fighting for the rights of political prisoners.  Perhaps they were all staring on their Christmas shopping the week before Black Friday?  None of the major trade unions sent a single member, which is absolutely typical of the pro-capitalist, pro-cop “business unionist” trade union bureaucracy in the U.S.

Also nowhere in evidence were the usual phalanx of mobile satellite broadcast trucks of the city’s television news stations.  But that’s no surprise: these pro-capitalist propaganda outlets have consistently distinguished themselves by attempting to completely ignore this major scandal from the time the story was first broken by ‘Chicago Reader’ journalist/playwright John Conroy  to the present day.

The hearing was held in courtroom 101 on the ground floor of the ancient Cook County Criminal Courts building, which itself sits atop a suite of holding cells for the hundreds of mostly black and Hispanic prisoners awaiting trial every day.  These holding cells are scenes of torture on a daily basis themselves: hundreds of prisoners are herded from hideously overcrowded, filthy holding cell to hideously overcrowded, filthy holding cell, packed into barred, open cells in such numbers that it is impossible to sit down; and the men and women have to stand for hours, shoulder to shoulder, awaiting their moment in the notorious kangaroo court system of Cook County, where the judges and prosecutors boast of “98% conviction rates” due to defendants’ willingness to plead guilty to crimes they never committed or were improperly arrested for just to get out of the hellhole “Crook County” jail system.  Amnesty International would have a field day if they were allowed to view the conditions in these holding cells, which are probably not much better than those found in any brutal prison system in any “Third World” country.  The U.S. government has nothing to boast about – “human rights-wise” – when it comes to prison conditions in U.S. county jails.  All the judges, lawyers, prosecutors and capitalist press know full well about the horrid conditions in the Cook County Jail – and they collaborate to cover up this major scandal that literally sits directly under their feet every time they enter the “Crook” County Criminal Courts Building!

But, we digress.

The hearing in courtroom 101 was held in front of “the Honorable” (that is the honorific title traditionally and – usually ironically – used in the U.S.) Judge Paul P. Biebel, Jr. in a courtroom vastly different from the kind we see portrayed in endless, tediously hagiographic Hollywood productions.  Unlike the august, dark-paneled temples of justice seen in, say, Law and Order, Judge Biebel’s courtroom is a model of police-state technology, with a floor-to-ceiling glass partition and door separating the defendant-victims and their families from the courtroom itself.  The proceedings are capable of being closed to the public at any time by shutting the glass door to the courtroom and then turning off the audio which is piped into the gallery area through three lines of loudspeakers.  In this way, the public can be cut off from hearing what’s going on in the courtroom; the gallery can be placed under a virtual “cone of silence” at any time by order of the judge.

The “Cone of Silence” installed in Courtroom 101 in the Cook County Criminal Courts Building as it appeared on November 14, 2012. No credit.

In today’s hearing, the issue at stake was whether or not the Cook County Prosecutor’s office, led now by Anita Alvarez, can be allowed to represent the state in this case, or whether the manifest and multifold conflicts of interest that exist between the wholly interpenetrated Chicago Police Department and Cook County Prosecutors’ office have created a situation in which it is impossible for the Cook County Prosecutor to fairly and equitably administer even the rough semblance of “justice” in this case.  [SPOILER ALERT: The “Crook” County Prosecutor’s Office is so completely compromised by every conceivable level of corruption that could exist between two branches of government that there “ain’t no way” they can be considered impartial in this case or any case involving the Chicago Police Department. – IWPCHI]

So, when the case was called, the judge immediately ruled that it would be much more convenient for everyone involved if they retired to his chambers to discuss the finer points of law, undistracted by the eyes and ears of the very interested citizenry assembled in the gallery.  Into the judge’s chambers they all went – lawyers for the torture victims and prosecutors, special prosecutors and all – and we waited in the gallery for the outcome of this “meeting of the minds” so to speak.

In about 15 minutes, they re-emerged into the light of public observation, and the judge blurted out a series of court dates that would be upcoming, in which both sides could make their cases as to whether or not, and why or why not it was right and proper for the “Crook” County Prosecutors’ office, long “in bed” with the Chicago Police Department, to exercise legal jurisdiction over this case, or whether a special prosecutor should be appointed in their place [SPOILER ALERT: This is something like arguing that the Titanic would still be sailing across the Atlantic today if it had a different captain in 1912.  In the capitalist courts, workers can never expect to find “justice”, even on a good day, in front of a “decent” judge and a “fair” prosecutor.  And in hugely political cases like this one, “the fix”, as they say, almost certainly already “is in”. And that goes double when the court in question sits in the County of Cook, in the State of Illinois, in the Untied Snakes of America. – IWPCHI]

Lawyers from the People’s Law Office confer outside courtroom 101 in the Cook County Criminal Courts Building after class-action petition hearing, 14 November 2012.  Attorney Joey Mogul is second from right, with her back to the camera.  Photo by IWPCHI

Thank god that the People’s Law Office brought an interpreter along with them to explain to us mere workers the strange signs and figures we had just seen described in impenetrable legalese by “the Honorable” Judge Biebel.  Her name was (and is) Joey L. Mogul – she is an Attorney at Law.  And she concisely and quite nicely laid out the situation for us in 5 minutes.  We used our “cleverphone” to record her remarks, and somehow managed to get almost all of them even though the “cleverphone”, we discovered too late, makes voice notes of a maximum duration of 60 seconds at a time [DAMN YOU, RICHARD BRANSON!! (1) – IWPCHI].  Ms. Mogul’s remarks are reproduced here.  All errors are ours, but we were very careful to reduce them to a reasonably small number below around five but definitely probably above zero.  (See (1), above.

REMARKS OF JOEY L. MOGUL, ATTORNEY-AT-LAW, PEOPLE’S LAW OFFICE:

JM:  “Hi, everybody – hi.  Sorry to make you wait in the cold.  First of all, thank you for coming today.  I think it’s really important to show support for the guys behind bars, so we really appreciate you coming here and being outside in the cold.
O.K.:  so you know this was about our class-action petition, right?  Seeking hearings for all of the torture survivors who are behind bars who have never gotten an evidentiary hearing, O.K.?  So these have to be… to be individuals who were tortured or physically coerced under Burge’s supervision at Area 2 or Area 3, right?  So we filed that petition; and at the same time we know that the “Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission” – TIRC [pronounced: “turk” – IWP] – has made findings in 5 cases that individuals should get evidentiary hearings.  One of those cases – Shawn Whirl – was up today with the class-action petition.
[Switching to recording number 2, we lost a bit of Ms. Mogul’s remarks.  She said that the primary question being raised in today’s in-camera proceeding in the judge’s chamber was… – IWPCHI]
JM: “… Who is gonna respond in behalf of the state?  Because – just as a reminder – back in 2002 the State’s Attorney’s Office when run by Dick Devine was found to have a [per se? – IWP] conflict [of interest – IWP] because Dick Devine, when leaving the State’s Attorney’s Office [in the 80s? – IWP] went into private [law – IWP] practice; and while in private practice, he and his law firm represented Jon Burge and the other white detectives, in Andrew Wilson’s civil rights case.  And as a result of that conflict, that is how we had special prosecutors [appointed – IWP] to investigate the crimes of Burge and others; and that’s later why we had Lisa Madigan’s offices to be appointed in representing various torture survivors who had post-conviction petitions, right?
Later, in 2009, what happened is that the A.G.’s [Attorney General’s – IWP] office said that they didn’t have enough resources in which to represent all of the existing [unintelligible – IWP] in all these cases; and that is why Judge [Engelman’s ? – IWP] office was appointed as a special prosecutor.

The state is being… the State’s Attorney’s Office, they have said… Alvarez’ office says they want to represent the State’s interest with respect to our class-action petition, and with respect to the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission cases.  So they [Alvarez’ office] are now responding, on December 12th, as to whether they are ‘conflicted out’ from representing the state on these cases.  We will then file a reply in January – on January 7th – saying what our position is.  And our position is that State’s Attorney Alvarez’ office has a conflict; that conflict remains from the Devine era; and that that [conflict – IWP] prevents them from taking – representing the state in this case.  There will be a hearing on January 15th.  So that’s a status hearing; and eventually we will probably have arguments before Judge Biebel, O.K.?  Does that make sense?”

[We switch again to the next recording, missing 10 seconds of audio – IWP]

JM:  “Well, we certainly are disappointed… [at this point, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez walked by, attracting the attention of Mark Clements of the ‘Campaign to End Torture’.  As she walked by, Mr. Clements shouted: “FREE THE TORTURE VICTIMS!”  This completely justified outburst predictably discomfited Ms. Mogul… – IWP]
JM:  “Mark, don’t… Mark… please don’t do that.”
Mark Clements: “That’s Alvarez.”
JM:  “But, Mark, don’t.  That’s just… you know?  We don’t need it.
We believe there’s a conflict [of interest – IWP]; we believe that conflict’s been found; we think that conflict remains, O.K.?  Yes, we are anxious to get to the merits; yes we want hearings for these individuals; we would like to get through this quickly so that we can actually get to the issues of the fact that there are potential torture survivors who are still behind bars, who’ve never been given any due process and have never been given a fair opportunity to have their torture allegations heard.  We will move with as quick speed as possible.  We would like… we would like the State’s Attorney’s office to acknowledge their conflicts […] and step aside so we can get to the merits.  That said, we are prepared to fight this; we are prepared to argue it in court; and we are going to prepare to proceed, because we look forward to having our day in court…”

[We switch again to the next recording, again missing around 10 seconds of dialogue.  Ms. Mogul has ended her presentation, and a question and answer session begins. – IWPCHI]

Q. [by unknown person]: “Those are five individual cases?”
JM: [affirming – IWP] “Those are five individual cases.”
Q:  “Was [Javon? unintelligible name – IWP] one of them?”
JM: “No, he was not.”
Q: [unintelligible]
JM: “I don’t know if he was [unintelligible – IWP]… if he filed a claim to the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission or not, or if it’s an issue about…”
Q: “Did he file a claim?”
JM: “… Let me say this: whether he did or did not, the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission was only able to get to a small number of cases.  They have now been funded to investigate further cases, O.K.?  That said, Javon Deloney [phonetic spelling – IWP] is one of the… in the putative class members; he’s one of the people [who we’ve looked at recently – IWP] under our class-action petition, O.K.?”
Q. [Mark Clements? – IWP]: “And I think that’s the route that he should go.”
JM: “That’s something that should be discussed privately, O.K.?  Any other questions?”
Independent Workers Party: “Yes. What do you feel is the advantage of having a class-action suit in this kind of a case?”
JM: “We think… because we think what has happened has been insufficient.  Individual cases fought here and there has not resolved this systemic issue…”

[Here the recording ends.  Ms. Mogul went on to say that in major cases of police misconduct or brutality involving, as the Burge cases do, dozens of individuals, such as the many cases in Oakland and Los Angeles, California; in Philadelphia and in other jurisdictions, class-action proceedings have been repeatedly adopted as the most efficient way to handle such large numbers of similar cases, but that this has never been done before [SPOILER ALERT: Surprise, surprise! – IWP] in Illinois or Chicago. – IWP]

IWPCHI

UPDATE: “Racist Router” of Niles, IL Routed! – Has Not Appeared for 3 Days

Having been burned before by the apparent disappearance of the “racist router” broadacsting the SSID “N*****R_DICK” to the patrons of a busy business district of coffee shops and restaurants in “All America City” Niles, IL, we have waited a few days to publish an update on the case.  Our correspondent has visited the Panera Bread facility at 7023 W. Dempster St. in Niles, IL twice a day for the past three days (October 25-28) and confirms that the router has not been broadcasting its hate-filled message during this time.

Our investigation of this case has revealed that it is possible that the router broadcast has been going on for quite a while.  At one time, a router in the exact same location was broadcasting the name “White Eagle” to the community.  We are continuing to research this and will also continue to monitor the location to determine whether or not the termination of this racist provocation was a temporary cessation or actually the end of this garbage.  We have notified the local press and the NAACP and have contacted the Trotskyists of the Partisan Defense Committee and the Spartacist League about this case over the past week.  So far, we have only received a response from the Niles/Morton Grove “Patch” newspaper, who have suggested that our party publish a letter in their newspaper addressed to the local citizens about the matter.  We reproduce that letter here.   Once again, we would like to thank Ms. Cathy Spadoni, Secretary of the Village of Niles’  “Community Relations Commission”  for her prompt action in getting this racist router broadcast taken down.  We encourage the working class citizens of Niles and Morton Grove to call her and thank her for a job well done: she can be reached at 847-588-8000.  – IWPCHI

*************************************

[The following letter was published in the online version of the  Niles-Morton Grove (IL) “Patch” newspaper’s “Announcements” section on October 26, 2012.  It has not been edited in any way.  – IWPCHI]

Stop the Racist Router Broadcast in Niles!

26 October, 2012

Brothers and Sisters;

We have recently become aware of the existence of a wifi router on the border of Niles and Morton Grove, broadcasting the name “N*****R_DICK” to the community.
This router is located somewhere near the strip mall just west of Waukegan on Dempster where Chase Bank and Panera Bread (the 7000 block of  W. Dempster St., in Niles) are located.  You can still observe this racist activity as of this writing.  The broadcast is viewable at the Chase Bank as well as the Panera Bread cafe and restaurant, and is most likely viewable at the Dairy Queen, Waxberg’s Shoes and Advanced Auto Parts; it may also be visible at Dunkin Donuts and Pizza Hut.

According to a Niles police officer we spoke to, the racist provocation has been going on for over two years now – and the police, though they have recieved several complaints about it, claim that it “is not a hate crime” and “there is nothing” they can do.  The fact that this has been going on unabated for more than two years means that literally tens of thousands of people have been exposed to this disgusting racist provocation and neither the police nor the affected businesses have done anything to stop it or even investigate it.

We discovered the router broadcast the night of the 13th of October and brought it to the attention of the Panera Bread management that evening.  On the 16th we again observed the broadcast and spoke with the Panera Bread manager and general manager as well as the manager of the Chase Bank a couple of doors down.. We responded to their assertions that “there is nothing we can do” by telling them that there was “a lot they can do” and we gave them a couple more days to see if they would do anything.  On the 18th of October, once again observing the broadcast from the Panera Bread location, we contacted the Niles, IL police and the Niles, IL Community Relations Commission’s “anti-discrimination hotline”.  It took the “hotline” 6 days to get back to us.  When they finally did return our call on October 24, Ms. Cathy Spadoni, Secretary of that organization, stated that she had never heard of this issue until we contacted the Commission.  She told us she would bring it to the attention of the Chief of Police.  That same afternoon, two police officers were seen walking around the Panera Bread location on Dempster with wifi site surveying equipment, apparently looking for the router.  According to Ms. Spadoni, they found it and were assured by the owner that it would be turned off “in a couple of days”.
The router broadcast seems to have been temporarily disconnected two nights ago (Oct 24) when we searched for it unsuccessfully at Panera using our own computer.  However, the next morning we returned to Panera and found that the router was broadcasting again.  Immediately phoning Ms. Spadoni, we were once again assured that the racist broadcast would be ended “in the next couple of days”.  Today (October 26) we checked it again and it’s still there.

We feel that it is time for us to bring this matter to the attention of a broader segment of the community in order to put more pressure on the Village of Niles to end something that has been going on for far too long already.  We are pleased with the work done by Ms. Spadoni – so far – but the fact that in spite of the involvement of the Chief of the Niles Police Department this racist broadcast is being allowed to continue even “for a few days” more is appalling.  We had hoped that simply reporting it to the Niles Police and the Niles Community Relations Commission would put a quick end to it, but they seem to be in no real hurry to get this resolved.

We would also like to find out who is behind this vile racist provocation.  If it is one of the local businesses doing this, that should be made part of the public record.  If it is a citizen, the community needs to be made aware that there is a potential threat of racist attacks being launched against citizens of all races by this psychologically unstable person or persons.

We live in a country where it is, sadly, common to see mug shots of our neighbors displayed in the newspapers whenever someone gets it on with the babysitter or if someone has one too many at the local pub. People who are merely arrested on suspicion of having committed a crime have their faces splashed all over the TV and Internet and their lives are turned upside down: but when a racist broadcasts hate to an entire neighborhood and a business district for more than 2 years, the police can’t seem to find any way to do anything about it.  And the business owners act as if its no big deal.

It is up to the working class of Niles and Morton Grove to show their fellow citizens that racism in their community is something that they will not tolerate.  Just a couple of years ago, Niles was singled out by a national publication as being one of the top 5 places to raise a family in the United States.  If that is true, then a situation such as the one that exists now, and the apathy of public officials and business owners towards it, must be publicly condemned by the working class of Niles and Morton Grove.

You can find our ongoing series of articles on this case at iwpchi.wordpress.com

If you would like to get involved in organizing opposition to this type of vile racism, please contact us at iwpchi@rocketmail.com

Sincerely,

Independent Workers Party of Chicago