Peace activists to Mayor Emanuel, Police Chief: Respect our right to protest NATO/G8

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“Threats from top cop will not deter exercise of constitutional rights to mobilize for spring 2012 meeting,” say organizers.
 
 
Chicago, IL –  Representatives of unions, faith based groups, community and anti-war organizations will hold a press conference on Thursday, July 28 at 11:30 a.m to demand that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and police officials guarantee civil liberties and the right to protest the NATO/G8 summit in May 2012. 
The press conference will be held outside Emanuel’s offices on the 5th floor of City Hall, at 121 N. LaSalle St. Activists will also deliver a letter to the mayor with demands for permits to rally and march during the week of meetings next spring. 
The letter was written in response to threats of mass arrests made against protesters by Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy in the Sun Times on July 15.
In a press release, organizers of the event stated that Chicago has a dismal track record of suppressing peaceful protesters in the City, including a decade-long effort to thwart peace activists’ right to assemble and march to oppose U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East. In March of 2003, police arrested hundreds of peaceful protesters after they marched on Lake Shore Drive — with police permission — and then were corralled in the Gold Coast by cops and denied the right to peacefully disperse. 
Speakers at the press conference will include:  
  • Rudy Lozano, President, 22nd Ward Independent Political Organization
  • Christine Boardman, President of Service Employees International Union, Local 73
  • Jokarhi Shakur, student leader, Save City Colleges coalition
  • Pat Hunt, Chicago Area Code Pink
  • Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Non-Violence
  • Bob Clarke, Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights
  • Joe Lombardo, United National Antiwar Committee
  • Tom Burke, Committee to Stop FBI Repression

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