May 182012

Call to Action for the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANG8)

To all who support our right to protest:

Below is the press release issued by the National Lawyers Guild about the criminal actions of the Chicago Police Department against prominent Occupy Chicago activists.

CANG8 stands in solidarity with the victims of this violent police action.  They have done nothing wrong.  They have the right to protest against NATO.

As of this hour, the CPD have not admitted to the lawyers that they have the eight people in custody.

Call Mayor Emanuel 312-744-5000 and Police Superintendent McCarthy 312-744-4000:  Demand the immediate release of the activists.

If you see police misconduct, or are harassed or stopped, call the NLG Hotline: 312-913-0039

And remind all who want to protest with us on Sunday, May 20th:  The police acted last night under the cover of darkness, while we’ll be marching in the light of day while the whole world will be watching.  Don’t be afraid to come out and raise your voices!

Joe Iosbaker

Pat Hunt

Joe Lombardo

Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda

PRESS RELEASE: Chicago Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild

National Lawyers Guild Condemns Preemptive Police Raids & Unlawful Searches on the Streets. Early morning house raid in Bridgeport and harassment of activists indicates intolerance of free speech rights.

Chicago, IL 5/17/12 — The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) condemns a preemptive police raid that took place at approximately 11:30pm Wednesday in the Bridgeport neighborhood, and instances of harassment on the street, in which Chicago police are unlawfully detaining, searching, and questioning NATO protesters. The Bridgeport raid was apparently conducted by the Organized Crime Division of the Chicago Police Department and resulted in as many as 8 arrests.

According to witnesses in Bridgeport, police broke down a door to access a 6-unit apartment building near 32nd & Morgan Streets without a search warrant. Police entered an apartment with guns drawn and tackled one of the tenants to the floor in his kitchen. Two tenants were handcuffed for more than 2 hours in their living room while police searched their apartment and a neighboring unit, repeatedly calling one of the tenants a “Commie faggot.” A search warrant produced 4 hours after police broke into the apartment was missing a judge’s signature, according to witnesses. Among items seized by police in the Bridgeport raid were beer-making supplies and at least one cell phone.

“Preemptive raids like this are a hallmark of National Special Security Events,” said Sarah Gelsomino with the NLG and the People’s Law Office. “The Chicago police and other law enforcement agencies should be aware that this behavior will not be tolerated and will result in real consequences for the city.”

In another incident, 3 plainclothes police officers unlawfully stopped, handcuffed, and searched a NATO protester on Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive at approximately 2pm today. According to the protester, he did not consent to a search and there was no probable cause to detain him. The police also photographed and questioned him about where he was from, how he got to Chicago, how long it took, what he was doing here, where he was staying, who he was with, and how long he was planning to say in Chicago. The protester refused to answer any questions and was eventually released.

The NLG has received reports that at least 20 people have been arrested so far this week, and two people are still in custody, not including the Bridgeport residents who are still unaccounted for. One of the protesters currently being detained, Danny Johnson of Los Angeles, has been accused of assaulting a police officer during an immigrant rights rally on Tuesday afternoon. However, multiple witnesses on the scene, including an NLG Legal Observer, recorded a version of events that contradict the accusations of police.

During the week of NATO demonstrations, the NLG is staffing a legal office and answering calls from activists on the streets and in jail. The NLG will also be dispatching scores of Legal Observers to record police misconduct and representing arrestees in the event the city pursues criminal prosecutions.

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