NATO/G8 Protesters to challenge denial of Permits to assemble at Daley Plaza

(Letter to Editor)


Chicago, IL – Organizers with the Coalition Against the NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8) will attend the Public Building Commission (PBC) of Chicago meeting on Tuesday, December 13.

 CANG8 members have applied to speak during the public comment section of the commission meeting being held in the 2nd floor Board Room in the Daley Center. Before the start of the PBC meeting, CANG8 and leaders of local unions, faith based groups and other supporters will gather for a press conference to demand their First Amendment right to have a permit to assemble and protest the NATO and G8 summits in May 2012.

The press conference will be held today, Tuesday, December 13, at 2:00 p.m., at the Daley Center, Randolph Street entrance, Chicago.

Back in June, one day after President Obama announced the NATO/G8 summits for next year, Joe Iosbaker of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), an affiliate of CANG8, submitted permit applications to assemble at Daley Plaza for two dates of family friendly rallies in May.  After not communicating to Iosbaker for 20 weeks, MB Real Estate Services, which manages Daley Plaza, sent an email that stated that they are not approving any permits for Daley Plaza for the publicized dates of the NATO/G8 meetings.

MB Real Estate is a contractor working for the PBC, which controls Daley Plaza.  The Chairman of PBC is Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The blanket denial of permits for Daley Plaza – one of the few public spaces in downtown Chicago that can accommodate large gatherings – illustrates a
pattern of actions demonstrating contempt for First Amendment rights by the Emanuel administration and its allies.The press conference and public comments will deliver a message to the PBC that a “no permits restriction” for Daley Plaza during the NATO/G8 summits is unreasonable and a violation of their own regulations. Further, they will demand that the city respect the right to protest against war & austerity. Demonstration organizers will be also available for comment immediately after the meeting with the PBC. For more information,
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