Chicago Indymedia | Activists receive permit for mass march on NATO/G8, but serious issues remain

Published on January 12, 2012 by Chicago Indymedia
By Andy Thayer, CANG8
  • Permit and cover letter from City imply that Feds may nix permits
  • Permits show that current ordinances work; Mayor should rescind his proposed anti-protester ordinance changes
CHICAGO, January 12: Activists with the Coalition Against the NATO and G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8) this afternoon received a permit from the City of Chicago for a Saturday, May 19 march from Daley Plaza to McCormick Place, site of the NATO / G8 summits to be held May 19-21.

The issuance of this permit shows that the current ordinances, while not perfect, are more than adequate for large public events in our city, and that the Mayor should rescind his proposed anti-protester ordinances. These proposed ordinance changes have been roundly condemned by all civil liberties experts who have reviewed them. The time to withdraw them is now.

The cover letter from the City accompanying the CANG8 permit contains a disturbing “escape clause,” which reads, “In the event [that] the Secret Service designates specific security zones or areas that impact your route, please note that the Chicago Department of Transportation will work with you to find an alternate route for your event.”

We reject the notion that the Secret Service should reject permits that have already been approved. The feds have had at least six months to study the security issues surrounding the summits. In the event that they attempt to make large sections of the city inaccessible, we demand that the City insist that the protests proceed unimpeded and unmolested. Anything less would be hypocrisy on the Mayor’s part.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on Emanuel’s ordinance changes at its meeting on Wednesday, January 18 (the meeting starts at 10 AM, but arrive at 8 AM or earlier if you hope to get into the City Council Chambers, 121 N. LaSalle Street, 2nd floor).

Two City Council committees are scheduled to discuss the changes on Tuesday, January 17 – the Committee on Budget and Government Operations at 10 AM in the 2nd floor City Council chambers, and the Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation at 1 PM in Room 201A. A press conference will precede all of this at 9 AM in front of the City Council chambers on the 2nd floor.

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