* MAY 20, 1012 U.S. ANTI-WAR VETERANS TOSS WAR MEDALS IN CHICAGO
Dozens of U.S. anti-war veterans from the Afghan and Iraqi wars tossed their war medals away Sunday to protest against the summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), with some of them pleading forgiveness from the Iraqi and Afghan people.
* NOT NATO’s KIND OF TOWN
By Curtis Black, StopNATO
Mayor Emanuel is congratulating himself for a successful NATO summit – successful mainly because no disasters occurred, though the only real threats seem to have been those manufactured by police.
No doubt the black bloc is also congratulating itself that day-after front pages carried pictures of scuffles with police, rather than veterans returning their medals with members of Afghans For Peace looking on, certainly the most moving and meaningful drama of the weekend.
What would a real accounting of the summit’s costs and benefits look like? […]
* CHICAGO SPENT OVER $63 MILLION DEFENDING POLICE MISCONDUCT STUDY
By Megan Cottrell, Chicago Now
“Pinstripe patronage” is what the People’s Law Office is calling it.
The Chicago law firm that’s known for bringing cases of police brutality, false arrest and wrongful convictions wanted to find out just how much the city was paying to outside firms to defend police officers accused of misconduct.
After obtaining records with a Freedom of Information Act Request, they calculated a total: $63.38 million paid to just 11 firms since 2003. […]
* NATO: BIG MONEY, BIG INTERESTS AND GLOBAL DOMINATION
By John Robles, StopNATO
$37 million for public relations for a two-day event, and that is just the amount that has been made public. When this amount of money is being spent one has to ask oneself some serious questions. This amount of money is not spent for public relations when you have something positive to say or sell and in this case that completely applies.
What they are in fact trying to sell to the American public is an organization that is, no matter how you package it, a war machine.
It is not one that can be called a very successful one either, nor is it one that is needed or particularly wanted by the American people. If the over-taxed American people realized that of the almost 50% of their salaries that they are paying in taxes, a large part of it, and the over 65 years of debt that is being passed along to their children, is also being spent not only to fund all of the American war machines and US military adventures all over the world, but it is also being used to provide approximately 79% of the funding for an organization that should have been disbanded over 20 years ago and one that it not even really wanted by the people it is supposed to be protecting in Europe… […]
* “DOES ANYBODY DESERVE THIS?”
* CHICAGO POLICE FACE ACCUSATIONS OF ENTRAPMENT, BRUTALITY IN CRACKDOWN ON NATO PROTESTERS
By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
DemocracyNow.org – Dozens of anti-NATO protesters have been arrested in Chicago over the past several days including five men who were jailed on domestic terrorism charges. Three of the men were accused of plotting to attack President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home and other targets. Their lawyers say they were entrapped by government informants. The Chicago police have also been criticized by activist groups for using violent force to break up protests and accused of targeting independent media activists who have been streaming the protests live over the Internet. On Saturday night three helping to live stream video of the protests were detained at gunpoint.
* DID CHICAGO POLICE MASTERMIND ALLEGED NATO TERROR PLOT?
After a weekend of violent altercations in Chicago, Illinois between police officers and demonstrators protesting the NATO Summit, many questions remain unanswered over a string of alleged terrorist plots foiled by law enforcement.
At least 11 men were arrested in three separate incidents in the days before this weekend’s conference of world leaders in the Windy City. As events wind down on Monday, however, half of those originally detained have been released with no charges pressed and little explanation from investigators. Of those that remain behind bars, all have been linked to two alleged police informants, “Mo” and “Gloves,” that are believed to have worked undercover with law enforcement to infiltrate the Chicago activism community.
The attorney representing three men arrested on terrorist-related charges on Wednesday says that the alleged crimes in question were perpetrated by Chicago police officers and reeks of entrapment. Those close to individuals apprehended this week on separate but similar charges also say that the alleged crimes in those cases are full of holes and seem equally suspicious. […]
* SIEGE OF CHICAGO: ANTI -NATO MARCH BATON CHARGED
* CHICAGO POLICE PUMMEL NATO PROTESTERS WITH BATONS
* VEHICLE-MOUNTED ACTIVE DENIAL SYSTEM ( V-MADS)
The Active Denial System (ADS) is a non-lethal, directed-energy weapon developed by the U.S. military. It is a strong millimeter-wave transmitter primarily used for crowd control (the “goodbye effect”). Some ADS systems such as HPEM ADS are also used to disable vehicles. Informally, the weapon is also called pain ray. Raytheon is currently marketing a reduced-range version of this technology. The ADS was being considered for deployment in the Iraq War.
* OVER 99% OF FEDERAL RESERVE BANK ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS ARE RESOLVED WITHOUT ADMISSION OF GUILT
By Matt Stoller, Naked Capitalism
In a hearing last week titled “Examining the Settlement Practices of U.S. Financial Regulators”, various regulators tried to justify their practice of settling with financial firms and not requiring them to admit wrongdoing. In that hearing, Federal Reserve General Counsel Scott Alvarez, stated that only seven of the roughly one thousand enforcement actions taken in the last decade were resolved without consent.
The vast majority of the Federa Reserve’s formal enforcement actions are resolved upon consent, which is fully consistent with the goal of resolving supervisory concerns with bank management quickly and firmly. In crafting enforcement actions that are entered by consent, the Federal Reserve typically sets out summary recitations of the relevant facts in “Whereas” clause provisions; however, like our fellow banking regulators, it has not been our practice to require formal admissions to the misconduct addressed in our enforcement orders given the remedial nature of our enforcement program. Requiring admission of fact and legal conclusions as a condition of entering into a consent action is likely to have a deleterious effect on our supervisory efforts by causing more institutions and individuals to challenge the requested relief in contested administrative proceedings, which typically takes years to reach final resolution, and which could delay implemenattion of necessary corrective action.
In other words, the Federal Reserve will only punish banks who break the rules if those banks consent to punishment. This attitude is pervasive among all regulators. Here’s the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates among other banks JP Morgan Chase. […]
* TEN POINTS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE QUEBEC STUDENT MOVEMENT
By Andrew Gavin Marshall, Media Co Op
The student strikes in Quebec, which began in February and have lasted for three months, involving roughly 175,000 students in the mostly French-speaking Canadian province, have been subjected to a massive provincial and national media propaganda campaign to demonize and dismiss the students and their struggle. The following is a list of ten points that everyone should know about the student movement in Quebec to help place their struggle in its proper global context.
1) The issue is debt, not tuition
2) Striking students in Quebec are setting an example for youth across the continent
3)The student strike was organized through democratic means and with democratic aims
4) This is not an exclusively Quebecois phenomenon
5) Government officials and the media have been openly calling for violence and “fascist” tactics to be used against the students
6) Excessive state violence has been used against the students
7) The government supports organized crime and opposes organized students
8) Canada’s elites punish the people and oppose the students
9) The student strike is being subjected to a massive and highly successful propaganda campaign to discredit, dismiss, and demonize the students
10) The student movement is part of a much larger emerging global movement of resistance against austerity, neoliberalism, and corrupt power […]
* AMERICAN SPRING: THE DOCUMENTARY
Even the cold early spring of 2012 could not deter Occupy Wall Street (OWS) activists in New York city. People from different backgrounds continue to come out onto the streets. The agenda driving all the protesters remains the same: income inequality, corruption among banks and multinational corporations, foreclosures, climate change, police brutality and above all, the need to get together and talk in person — not just via mobile phones. It is all about the courage of ordinary men and women to tell the truth to those who hold power.