|Photo by Luke Rudkowski. twitter: @lukewearechange|
CHICAGO NATO SCORECARD
Where we'll be awarding points to Protesters, Police, and the Public.
The Saturday, Sunday, and Monday scoring was cancelled due to the difficult circumstances. With the police harassing and arresting live streamers, announcing arrests of "terrorists" on flimsy charges, and beating protesters, we can assume the police scored miserably low.
FRIDAY MAY 18
Today was the Nurses' rally in Daley Plaza. These wonderful Nurses paid for 16 busses full of people from all over the U.S. to come to Chicago to participate in the protests. This has been a great chance for Occupiers all over the nation to get together with their friends. The atmosphere is one of a happy group at summer camp: singing, dancing, chanting, marching, and eating shared meals.
The City had carefully negotiated away the Nurses' right to hold a march after their rally. So, after the rally, the Nurses did not march -- but a thousand or more other people did! They left the Nurses behind, and marched off chanting, "Whose streets? Our streets!"
The marchers tried to cross the river onto North Michigan Avenue, and police were out in droves. On the bridge, a protester climbed up to remove a NATO banner. He cut the banner in two, and people cheered. Police arrested him and the crowd de-arrested him. A chubby lady police officer on a bike tried to taze someone (why?) and fell off her bike (hooray!?) and had to be helped up. Reportedly, another police officer was injured and was assisted by a volunteer medic.
The march became split in two, with most south of the river. They marched to LaSalle and Jackson and sat for a while, and then onto the Horse. As always in Chicago, this march went real far real fast and this time, in the blazing hot sun and humid air.
There were way too many police and other law enforcement officers of various types. Bike police were used to blockade streets and funnel the protesters in certain directions. The protesters did get to their desired locations. When police bikes blocked the way to The Horse, and it looked like a kettle, a girl shouted out that they wanted to go to The Horse. A white shirt gave the okay, the police bike line opened up, and the marchers continued on the The Horse. This looked to me like a pretty good job of facilitating the protest.
Later in the evening, the Occupiers held their GA, with the Horse surrounded by gezillions of police.
Will the Police ever be able to regain all the points they lost by raiding the apartments of protesters in the night, holding many of them in shackles in a lock-up? They would have to let them all go with no charges, and kiss their butts, too. Will the Police team do this, or will they lose miserably? It is up to them!
- Protesters, for marching after the rally, keeping it nonviolent, and having great spirit: 30
- Police, for keeping it nonviolent and facilitating the protest: 30
- Public: For their kind patience: 20
THURSDAY MAY 17
Today, protesters continued with peaceful and clever protests. Some protested about oil drilling by covering themselves in a fake oil mixture or lying on the sidewalk playing dead. A different protest used model drones.
The Chicago Police were not so well-behaved. Police without a warrant raided two apartments in Bridgeport, where a group of protesters and Occupiers were staying. The report is that the residents were shackled hand and foot, held for hours while police stole their beer-making kit and repeatedly called one resident a "Commie fag." The police then reportedly denied making any arrests and only admitted doing so around 5pm, after the NLG had visited some of the arrestees in jail.
Also during the day, Citizen Journalist Luke Rudkowski asked Chicago Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy if Chicago Police would be acting as agents provocateurs dressed as protesters in the protests. Rather than giving a wholehearted denial, McCarthy reportedly became angry and ended the press conference. The question is very legit since police agents provocateurs tend to start riots and are very commonly used.
In the evening, there was a spirited march to protest the harassing police raid on the activists' apartments. As usual, the march went way too far way too fast. Police were nowhere in sight.
The scores have the Protesters taking a good lead, due to their continued nonviolence; the Police take a huge drop in score due to their shockingly bad behavior in allowing a few Bridgeport cops to harass protesters, and the public gets a boost for patience.
- Protesters, for continuing to keep it nonviolent and spirited: 10
- Police, for egregious violations of rights in conducting a warrantless raid, lying to the public, and probably planning to use agents provocateurs. All very terrible police behavior all in one day: -100
- Public, for their patience in allowing the protesters to gather at the convergence center church: +10
WEDNESDAY MAY 16
Today's big protest was run by Occupy Chicago and another local group. The protest was against foreclosures. The protesters staged a clever bit of moving furniture into Daley Plaza. A Chicago man whose family is facing eviction led chants. Police were present but in moderate numbers. No arrests were made.
- Police, for not overdoing it and no arrests: 10
- Protesters, for putting on a clever, meaningful show: 10
- Public, for sending actual foreclosure victims to protest: 10
TUESDAY MAY 15
The NATO protests were off to a rousing start as out-of-towners led a crowd, mostly young men, on an FTP march through the south side. The march went on for about 5 miles, with the crowd dwindling along the way. Protesters pushed over trash bins, put a wooden horse barrier and sandbags in a street. Police calmly followed behind them moving those things back.
An 80-year old man hit a protester, who hit back. Police took the old man aside.
Protesters jumped the CTA el turnstile, ran up to the platform, and then ran back down again.
Police on bicycles did blockade maneuvers. A police car followed behind protesters in the street announcing over loudspeaker to get on the sidewalk for their own safety. Protesters took to running down dark alleys and subterfuge techniques to continue their run. As usual in Chicago, the march went on way too far and way too fast. This makes protesting in Chicago sort of like a sport, somewhere between Parkour and a mini-marathon.
- Police, for restraint and patience: 10
- Protesters, for nonviolence and interracial camaraderie: 10
- Public, for old man hitting protester: -2