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PORTSIDE  May 2012, Week 3

PORTSIDE May 2012, Week 3

Subject:

Shut Down the War Marchine!: Thousands in Anti-NATO Rally

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Date:

Mon, 21 May 2012 00:31:15 -0400

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(1)
Shut Down the War Marchine!: Thousands in Anti-NATO Rally
Protesters head towards site of NATO negotiations in 
Chicago, veterans to return medals
Common Dreams staff
Common Dreams
May 20, 2012

[See Twitter stream and livestream below for live updates.]

Chicago: My kind of town? Thousands of protesters
marched in a sweltering Chicago today from downtown
Chicago to near the site of the NATO summit at McCormick
Place to call for an end to the NATO war machine.

The Coalition Against NATO-G8, which has spearheaded the
march and protests, calls for an end to NATO's war
agenda.  The group expected at least 10,000 to join the
march.

The final number in the march may well double that, and
some protesters report that the police numbers seem to
equal the number of protesters.

Veterans have returned their medals at the end of the
march, throwing them to the ground, and giving powerful
reasons, as @OccupyChicago is documenting:

"I'm giving these medals back to the 1/3rd of women in
the military who are sexually assaulted. I'm sorry. " -
War Veteran "I'm sorry to the 30,000 Iraq and Afgani
civilians killed." - War Veteran "These medals are a
symbol of control. I will not hold on to these lies of
heroism." - War Veterans

Explaining why the veterans were retuning their medals,
Iraq Veterans Against the War previously wrote: "We were
awarded these medals for serving in the Global War on
Terror, a war based on lies and failed polices. This
endless war has killed hundreds of thousands, stripped
the humanity of all involved, and drained our
communities of trillions of dollars, diverting funds
from schools, clinics, libraries, and other public
goods."

Iraq Veterans Against the War's Aaron Hughes, one of the
veterans who will be returning his medals, spoke to
Democracy Now! this week and said, "A decade-long war,
what have we been doing? ... There's a real moral
disconnect between the idea that our military can build
a democracy and the idea that our military is trained
and designed to control, dominate and kill people."

Thousands of peace activists are also in the march. "I'm
here to protest NATO, which I feel is the enforcement
arm of the ruling 1 per cent - of the capitalist 1 per
cent," protester John Schraufnagel told the Associated
Press.

The focus of the NATO meet, which began today, will be
the forces in Afghanistan.

The official march to McCormick Place has ended. Now
@OccupyChicago reports that "chaos" and clashes between
police have broken out, with some protesters being
beaten with billy clubs, and possible sightings of the
LRAD, or sound cannon.

Timcast is livestreaming the event:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/9824271

(2)
400 Protesters Head to Rahm's House
By Lisa Balde
NBC Chicago
May 19, 2012
http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Mental-Health-Protest-Heads-to-Rahms-House--152142395.html


Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home was the Saturday destination
for Mental Health Movement protesters ahead of this
weekend's NATO Summit.

The same group that barricaded themselves inside the
Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic last month joined 400
others to march on Emanuel's Ravenswood neighborhood
dressed in hospital gowns.

"A lot of people don't recognize how citizens are being
taxed and how rights are being lost," said N'Dana Carter
of the Mental Health Movement. "They don't know ... that
two have died and 16 have been hospitalized since the
closing of the clinics."

Carter told NBC Chicago the group not only will address
the mayor but also his neighbors about how the closure
of Chicago mental health clinics adversely affects the
city.

Six of the city's 12 public mental health centers closed
last month. Since then, Carter said the group has seen
two suicides and found people are getting lost en route
to their destinations. Further, therapists aren't
readily available for patients like they were at
clinics.

"We chose this weekend to highlight that all of this
money is being spent on war when we have people dying,"
she said. "If you've got $14 million for parties, then
you surely have $6 million for healthcare."

Though the group became known for barricading themselves
inside a closing clinic and interrupting Emanuel's
public events to get his attention, Carter said the
group wants a peaceful protest today.

"There's never been a time when the Mental Health
Movement was not doing something with peace, because
what we recognize is it's important that people are
comfortable with dealing with mental health issues. If
we're erratic, if we're screaming and shouting, people
will ignore us."

 

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