Tag Archives: Community Relations Commission

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

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[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

UPDATE: Niles, IL “Racist Router” is Still Running

UPDATE:  It appears as if our celebration of the takedown of the racist router of Niles, IL was premature: although we were unable to find it last night, today when our correspondent went to the Panera Bread location at 7023 West Dempster Street in Niles IL, the racist router broadcast was back on the air.

Of course, our reporter immediately notified Niles, IL Community Relations Commission Secretary Cathy Spadoni to thank her for her work and to let her know that the racist broadcast was still ongoing.  She thanked him for the kind words and said that she had been assured that the router broadcast would be “taken down” in the next couple of days.

Our correspondent asked her if she knew who it was who was making the broadcast.  She said “no, I don’t [know]”.   He asked her why it was taking so long to get this router shut down; her response: “I don’t know anything about these technical things”.   Our reporter explained to her that a router broadcast can be immediately turned off by unplugging the router, or it can be renamed in a couple of minutes.  She said: “I don’t know anything about any of that, but it should be turned off in the next couple of days”.

Our correspondent let her know that the status of the router would be monitored daily by us until it is actually turned off.  Which is exactly what we are going to do.  Our own investigation into this matter is ongoing.

We will be contacting the local newspapers today to let them know about the existence of this router broadcast so that they can confirm its existence over the next few days.  If it turns out that Ms. Spadoni has been misled by the Niles Police Department as to t

UPDATE: The Niles, IL “Racist Router” is OFF THE AIR!

It’s amazing how a little unwelcome publicity coupled with what appears to be the quick work of an embarrassed and angry member of the Niles, IL Community Relations Commission, Ms. Cathy Spadoni, can cut through two years of accumulated red tape at Niles Village Hall and get things done – but that appears to be just what happened today.

No sooner had we posted our next-to-last update to you than our correspondent received a message from Ms. Spadoni stating that the Niles Police Department, after what must have been a very brief investigation – well under 6 hours –  had located the racist router, spoken to its owner and had secured assurances from the owner that the router would be turned off “in a couple of days”.

Our reporter immediately called Ms. Spadoni back to thank her very much for her fast work on this case but asked why it would take so long to get the router broadcast taken down when it could easily be done in a matter of minutes by anyone with physical access to the router.   He left that message on Ms. Spadoni’s answering machine, and we updated our blog again, and then our correspondent headed over to Panera Bread to let the manager there know that it appeared that the case had been straightened out.

He got there and spoke to a different manager this time and told him what had happened and gave him Ms. Spadoni’s phone number so he could call her directly and thank her.  The manager told our correspondent that one of his employees had seen two police officers out behind the Panera Bread location carrying wifi site survey devices that afternoon!  We are not sure if this was the Niles Police Department that did this or not, and our correspondent hasn’t heard back from Ms. Spadoni yet to get the details but at any rate, when our reporter used his computer to search for the racist router it had disappeared from the airwaves already.

It’s amazing that it took just a few hours to resolve an issue that had been a standing racist insult to this community for more than 2 years, but that appears to be what happened.   What also amazes us is that it took the random visit by a lone Trotskyist – a rather rare bird in these parts! – to get the ball rolling to resolve a situation that had been observed by literally tens of thousands of local citizens over the past couple of years, with no one, apparently, bothering to take the time to go through the not very difficult process of bringing this racist provocation to the attention of their own Village’s anti-discrimination commission!

We’ll be monitoring the locality to make sure that this router remains off-the-air, and we’ll let you know of any new developments and hopefully get a wrap-up of the case in the next few days.  In the meantime, hats off to Ms. Cathy Spadoni, Secretary of the Niles Community Relations Commission for a job well – and quickly – done!

If anyone would like to speak with her about her amazingly swift resolution of this case, you can reach her at what we hope is a better-monitored hotline number now – (847) 600-5440; or email her at the Commission at   CommunityRelations@vniles.com

[To Be Continued]

IWPCHI

UPDATE: Niles, IL Racist Router Broadcaster Found – Router To Be Turned Off ‘In a couple of days’ says Community Relations Commission Secretary Spadoni

We have just received a communication from Ms. Cathy Spadoni of the Niles, IL Community Relations Commission regarding the racist router broadcast in Niles, IL.  She informs us that the owner of the router broadcasting a vile racist message has been “found” and that “it will take a few days” but that the broadcast will be terminated.  She thanked us for bringing it to her and her Commission’s attention.  We have not yet had the chance to speak with her; we were busy publishing the previous update on the case when she called.  We are pleased but confused as to why it would take “a few days” to change the name of a router – the broadcast SSID can be changed in just a couple of minutes by anyone who has physical access to the router itself.  We will let you know of any new developments as soon as we receive them.

IWPCHI

Racist Router Update: Niles, IL Anti-Discrimination “Hotline” Returns Call – After 6 Days!

[Update on the Niles, IL “racist router broadcast” that was discovered by one of our correspondents – IWPCHI]

Racist router broadcast, Panera Bread, 7023 West Dempster Street in Niles IL., as it appeared on computer 24 October, 2012. Credit: IWPCHI

This morning, our correspondent informs us, he finally received a return phone call from the Niles, IL “anti-discrimination hotline” regarding that racist router broadcast at Panera Bread!  Amazing!  We originally called them on the morning of October 18th, and gave them another cal a day later.  It only took them 6 full days to get back to us!  We are so glad that they don’t run the 911 hotline!

The call came from a very nice woman who identified herself as Cathy Spadoni, “Secretary of the  Community Relations Commission“.   [We are sure that Ms. Spadoni would be happy to receive calls from concerned members of the Niles community as well as from concerned workers all over Illinois.  You can reach her through the “hotline” at 847-600-5440 or by email at CommunityRelations@vniles.com]

The first thing Ms. Spadoni asked our correspondent was “when did you call us?”  Apparently, that “anti-discrimination hotline” really IS an old-school answering machine!   Our correspondent let her know that it was a week ago.

Ms. Spadoni apologized for the delay in returning our correspondent’s phone call and then proceeded to ask him a few questions.  First: “What is a router broadcast?”

Come on, now, it’s not that funny!  Not everyone knows the name of these things, though they are indeed familiar with using wifi.  This was the case with Ms. Spadoni, who immediately understood what our correspondent was talking about once it was explained to her.  He gave her the whole rundown of what he had observed at Panera Bread and how the router’s broadcast was being received throughout the residential neighborhood north of its apparent location as well as throughout the strip mall on the south side of Dempster Ave., in Niles.

Ms. Spadoni then told our reporter that she had not heard of the issue before and that she would bring it to the attention of the Chief of Police in Niles.  Our correspondent then let her know that the police have been aware of this racist broadcast for at least two years and have done nothing about it, saying that it was not a hate crime and was protected free speech.  He also made it clear to her that over the past two-plus years, tens of thousands of people have been subjected to this abuse at the hands of this racist and the Niles authorities have done nothing to stop it.

This information seemed to startle her a bit.  She paused and then stated that her commission’s mission was to deal primarily with housing discrimination – a statement completely at odds with the written declaration of the commission on its webpage as well as the recorded message on the “anti-discrimination hotline”.  The website states: “The Commission has a mission to promote fairness and eliminate discrimination in Niles” – a much broader definition of discrimination than what Ms. Spadoni asserted.

Ms. Spadoni then stated: “”It’s certainly not our intention to downplay this incident, but it may be that our hands are tied”, to which our correspondent replied that intentions don’t matter, actions do.  “My grandmother used to say: the road to hell is paved with good intentions” our correspondent told Ms. Spadoni.  “Yes, I’ve heard that saying before” Ms. Spadoni replied.  “What is important isn’t what people intend, but what they actually do that matters.  In this case it’s a question perhaps of taking a broader rather than a narrow view of what your commission’s responsibilities are,” our correspondent said.

He then told Ms. Spadoni that he intends “to run this up the ladder until I find someone who will do something about it”.  He stated that he intends to inform the NAACP and any other organization he can find that will work to get this case resolved.

The IWPCHI simply does not have the capacity to take up this case on its own.  If this is to go any further it must be taken up by as many pro-working-class political parties and as many anti-racist groups as possible.  Picket lines should be set up outside the Niles Village Hall to protest the phony “anti-discrimination hotline” as well as the complete inaction of the village authorities to a serious ongoing campaign of racist abuse of the citizenry by a person or persons unknown.  Once identified, the people or person responsible for this racist provocation should have their homes and/or businesses picketed and they should be compelled to cease and desist by the anti-racist workers in the region.  This work can and should be carried out by the unionized working class of Niles and Morton Grove primarily, meaning that the teachers unions, village employee unions and local trades unions should join together to make it clear to all the racist scum in the area that their provocations will not be tolerated by the working class.

Niles, IL has a vibrant and growing Korean and Indian population.  Youth from India and the Middle East working on their schoolwork and college classes crowd the coffee shops day and night where this racist router broadcast is occurring.  We believe that the racist(s) behind the broadcast are deliberately targeting these folks, as well as the many black and Hispanic workers in the strip mall – and any other decent people who stop there for coffee or for lunch.

There does seem to be a thread of racism running through the Niles community.

Fascist insignia painted on water conduit, Cook County Forest Preserve, Niles, IL.
Credit: IWPCHI

Fascist insignia carved into dead tree, Cook County Forest Preserve, Niles, IL.
Credit: IWPCHI

Racist graffiti on map of bike trail, 24 October, 2012. Cook County Forest Preserve, Niles, IL. Credit: IWPCHI

Nazi symbols have been found painted on water conduits and carved into trees in the Cook County Forest Preserve in Niles; racist graffiti has also been spotted written on a map of the bike path running through the Forest Preserve.  These little nests of fascist vermin exist all over the US, and are continually being fed by the US government’s disgusting racist attacks on immigrant workers.

Today, just after speaking with Ms. Spadoni, our correspondent returned to Panera Bread and confirmed, once again, that the racist router broadcast continues.

He will be taking steps throughout the day to bring this vile racist provocation to the attention of the working class in Northern Illinois.  We will continue to keep you updated as we receive more information in the case, and we look forward to seeing what Ms. Spadoni and the Niles, Illinois “Community Relations Commission” does about the matter.

[To Be Continued]

IWPCHI