the summit approached, the May 20 demonstration gained impressive support
from many diverse groups, including Jesse Jackson and Operation PUSH, area
unions including many SEIU locals, the Chicago Teachers Union, UE locals,
National Nurses United, and many others. Peace organizations, community
organizations and Occupy groups from around the country supported the
actions, as did groups from many countries around the world.
International anti-NATO fighters came from several countries and solidarity
demonstrations were held in
Speakers at the rally included Jesse Jackson, Sr., a member of the German Legislature, Inge Hoger, Malik Mujahid of the Muslim Peace Coalition, Vijay Prashad, author of “Arab Spring, Libyan Winter,” Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, Col. Ann Wright, Leah Bolger, president of Veterans for Peace, Carlos Montes of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Larry Holmes of the International Action Center and UNAC leaders, among others. Click here for UNAC leader Chris Gauvreau’s message to the rally: http://nepajac.org/chris.htm.
march, organized by an ad hoc coalition called the Coalition against NATO and
the G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANG8), filled the
At the end of the ceremony, as organizers urged people to start leaving the area, long lines of police in riot gear started moving towards the stage, preventing many from leaving. Police pushed with their clubs into the crowd as people fell against the metal barricades erected to contain the demonstrators. Soon the police were swinging their clubs at protesters in full view of the TV cameras and reporters; many people were hurt, some seriously. These were not lone-individual, out of control cops; this was clearly a planned attack. Perhaps it was needed by the city to justify the tremendous costs of the security apparatus used by the Emanuel administration, including pre-summit scare tactics and violence baiting protestors. But it was not the demonstrators who were violent, it was the police. It is not peace activists who are violent, it is NATO.
Click here for a video of the speakers at the May 20 rally: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1dh0E6-BAY&feature=youtu.be
The civil liberties fight
first put in an application for a permit to march and rally in July of 2011.
Five months later, we were informed that there would be no protests during
the summits. But as a huge outcry developed, and after press
conferences and protests organized by CANG8, Occupy Chicago and many unions,
we were granted a permit. During this period, UNAC put a full page ad
in the Chicago Sun Times with a statement in support of the right to protest
signed by hundreds of people from the
months leading up to the anti-NATO and G8 protests, the
In the days leading up to May 20th, the police raided the homes of several demonstrators and made several arrests. A total of around100 people were arrested in the week preceding the demonstration. Three young men, now known as the NATO 3, were charged with very serious terrorism crimes. It appears that this was a set-up similar to the preemptive prosecutions that Muslims have faced, as a provocateur was used in the same ways they are used to frame Muslims as terrorists. Click here for the Democracy Now segment on these charges: http://www.democracynow.org/2012/5/22/attorney_nato_3_activists_detained_on.
Click here for Indymedia videos of the police attack: http://chicago.indymedia.org/node/946.
Click here for pictures of the police provocateurs:
Please donate to the defense of the NATO 3 by clicking here: http://www.wepay.com/donations/nato-arrestee-bail-fund.
Other activities during the week
to 800 people attended the People’s
Click below for some videos of the People's Summit:
Following the People’s
The International League for People’s Struggle, held
their founding conference for their U.S. group in Chicago during the week and
organized a contingent to march in the May 20th demonstration. Having their conference in Chicago to help
build the May 20th demonstration was an act of solidarity with the anti-NATO and G8 demonstrators. Joe Lombardo, UNAC co-coordinator gave
greeting from UNAC to their conference
One very important action was a demonstration organized by the National Nurses United union. This action pushed for a stock transfer tax, which would solve some of the country’s economic problems by forcing the rich to pay a share for the financial crisis they created. This demonstration included several thousand nurses and their supporters. NNU also provided free buses for people to come to their demonstration and to the May 20th mass demonstration.
How did the protest come about?
June, a UNAC leadership meeting in
it became known that
May 20th demonstration was one of the largest antiwar
demonstrations ever held in
know from past experience that it is very difficult to build large
demonstrations during election periods. We knew
activists on the ground in
made new international contacts that will strengthen and broaden UNAC and the
will now move forward helping to build actions at the national political
conventions and on Oct 7, the anniversary of the beginning of
Click here for the Facebook UNAC group.
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