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Archive for May 28th, 2010

New Coalition calls on lawmakers to make torture a crime

Posted by Admin On May - 28 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

 Burge Trial Underway, Torture Survivors No Closer to Justice 


The newly formed Illinois Coalition Against Torture (ICAT) will hold a press conference to call upon city, state, and federal officials to make torture by U.S. law enforcement officials a crime. The press conference will be held Tuesday, June 1, 2010, in the First Floor Lobby of the Dirksen Federal Building, 219 S. Dearborn, at 9:00 a.m.

In a press release, the ICAT stated that, “Whether in Guantanamo or Chicago, torture is immoral and should be illegal. We call upon our legislators to criminalize torture by law enforcement officials, and follow the lead of many other countries who provide reparations to their torture survivors.

ICAT is calling for:

             — State and federal legislation to criminalize acts of torture committed by law enforcement officials in

                 Illinois  and the  U.S.

     — New hearings for over 20 Chicago Police torture survivors who were wrongfully convicted and remain incarcerated in the State of Illinois.
     — Reparations for torture survivors from the city of Chicago, including the cost of treatment and counseling.
 This 40 year saga has left the survivors of torture damaged, and the business of the state of Illinois unfinished, the press release noted.
    –At least twenty-three Burge police torture victims remain incarcerated awaiting new trials.
    –Many exonerated survivors who spent decades in jail are presently without the possibility of any financial reparations, and are in need of psychological counseling and other reparations.
    –If laws criminalizing torture by law enforcement officials were already in place, Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge, now on trial for perjury, could instead be prosecuted for the hundred of acts of torture committed under his watch.

Expected to be at the rally are:
U.S. Representative Danny Davis, who is sponsoring federal legislation to criminalize torture by law enforcement officials.

Alderman Ed Smith, who sponsored a City Council resolution calling for legislation criminalizing torture by law enforcement officials.    

Cook County Commissioner Earlean Collins, who sponsored a Cook County resolution calling for legislation criminalizing torture by law enforcement officials.

Darrell Cannon, Chicago Police torture survivor who was wrongfully convicted and served 23 years in prison before he was exonerated.

Joey Mogul, an attorney at the People’s Law Office, who has represented many of the Chicago Police torture survivors and presented these cases to the UN Committee Against Torture in 2006.

The Illinois Coalition Against Torture (ICAT) is opposed to state-sponsored torture wherever it occurs, and has initiated an educational and legislative campaign with the goal of ending impunity for torturers.

8th Day Center for Justice
Adler Institute on Social Exclusion
Alliance I-11
ARC (A Movement Re-imagining Change)
Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice
Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Illinois

Community Involvement Association
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights
Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture
Illinois SOA Watch
International Human Rights Law Institute, DePaul University College of Law
National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression–Chicago
National Lawyers Guild–Chicago Branch
Peace Pledge Chicago
Project NIA
Stateville Speaks

Susan Gzesh, Director, Human Rights Program, University of Chicago
Tamms Year Ten
The Provincial Council of the Viatorian Community
West Town Community Law Office
Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Adult Division, Chicago
Voices for Creative Nonviolence
White Rose Catholic Worker
Witness Against Torture

Berrios praises lawmakers for new Revenue Bill

Posted by Admin On May - 28 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Cook County Assessor candidate Joseph Berrios on Wednesday praised Illinois lawmakers for passing a bill with the potential to create $500 million in jobs and revenue for the stateduring a tough economic crisis. 

House Bill 4927, which was sponsored by State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) and State Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan) in the Senate, will allow truck stops to legally host paying video gambling machines under Illinoisvideo gaming law. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn for his signature. 

“At a time when the state is struggling for revenue, this measure will bring in $250 million to $500 million a year for use in state capital projects like roads and school construction,” said Berrios, who lobbied for the measure on behalf of the Illinois Coin Operators’ Association. “It’s a win-win for the state. Our unemployment rate is at an all-time high and our schools are crumbling. This new revenue will help in so many ways.” 

The bill, which had bi-partisan support, was presented to lawmakers as a way to make Illinois’ original law more efficient and profitable, in part by allowing truck stops and VFW halls to host the machines. The state has already legalized video gambling in bars and restaurants, though it will probably be the end of this year before the state’s Gaming Board formally allows the official start of video gambling in those establishments.  

“I’m pleased that I could help get this bill passed during such a difficult fiscal time,” Berrios said. “However, as I have noted since last fall, once I become Assessor I will resign as a lobbyist and my sole priority will be serving the people of Cook County with fairness and efficiency.” 

Berrios has been a commissioner on the Cook County Board of Review, which oversees property tax appeals, since 1988. He won the Democratic nomination for Cook County Assessor in February. Prior to being elected five times as commissioner, he served three terms as an Illinois state representative. He is chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party.  Berrios was the first Hispanic elected chairman of the party, a commissioner to the Board of Review and to the Illinois General Assembly. 

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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