Monday, May 21, 2012

Police brutality at the NATO Summit in Chicago (UPDATED)

"My kind of town"
Chicago police, a random pedestrian, and an ironic bus message
photo by James Watkins

As expected, the scene in Chicago this weekend, as numerous groups dedicated to peaceful, non-violent protest, assembled and marched in that city, was marked by countless incidents of police brutality.  Initially, media reported "a few hundred protesters", but actual numbers (of demonstrators) were closer to 75,000 (I have not seen an official number anywhere just yet).

The Guardian is running a terrific live-blog of the #NoNATO protests.  If you're on Twitter, be sure to follow @OccupyWallSt @OccupyChicago for up-to-the-minute information and photos.

And here are just a few of the disturbing images pulled from my Twitter feed:

One of numerous photojournalists who were injured and/or arrested while covering the NATO Summit and attendant protests:

Getty photographer Joshua Lott being arrested while doing his job (or trying to):


There are many more excellent photos of Sunday's protests at the Chicago Tribune's gallery.


  1. And the mainstream media is reporting that people are "faking injuries." Do those look like fake injuries to you?

    Meanwhile, the cops are -- once again -- entrapping people in cooked-up "terror" schemes, and the complicit media is lapping it up. And it looks like they planted the "evidence" of big scary 19th century Molotov cocktails in that apartment they raided without a warrant, charging those guys they arrested without cause, who are now locked up on $1.5 million bond.

    But whatever you do, don't use the scary p* term!!

    (*police state)

  2. P.S. And of course it figures that we have to depend on foreign media -- such as the ever excellent Guardian -- for coverage of this (along with alternative media, of course).

    Because the credulous mainstream U.S. media is too busy kissing the asses of the powers-that-be, ignoring the rampant police brutality, and repeating every half-assed "terror" report as if it's Gospel.

    Gee, ain't it great to live in a free country?!

  3. Lisa, so true. In fact, the Chicago NBC affiliate was even praising the Chicago police, saying their methods would provide "a model" for future protests.

    It's extremely disturbing, all of it. And yes, thank God for indie media and foreign news such as The Guardian.

  4. Entrapment of Cleveland 5 and NATO 3 Is Nothing New
    by Jake Olzen

  5. Lisa, Susie Madrack (of Crooks & Liars, etc.) tweeted yesterday that the Chicago police were using a classic technique with the removal order/kettling/arrest. They can't arrest people for simply peaceably assembling and speaking out, so they declare a zone to be evacuated for safety (or whatever reason), and when people try to move to a different area, they cannot, so they now have reason to arrest them: they're in violation of police orders. Not only is this reprehensible on its face, it is a potent deterrent to future protests, as people fear violent arrest and imprisonment, often without being afforded their rights to an attorney or even a phone call.

  6. But don't forget, Deborah -- never use the term "police state!"


    What ELSE shall we call it, Lisa?! When people are arrested for no genuine crime, and held without due process....that's a fucking police state.

    Kafka is rolling over in his grave.

    NATO terrorism defendants kept in 'observation' cells --One of their lawyers says the jail conditions amount to 'sensory deprivation' intended to hamper the defense. 22 May 2012 A spokesman for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says three anti-NATO protesters accused of terrorism conspiracy have been held around-the-clock since Saturday in white-walled observation cells, where they are isolated from each other and the rest of the inmate population and kept from writing materials, books and all other media. Spokesman Frank Bilecki said Gary Hickerson, acting executive director of the sheriff's Department of Corrections, ordered the observation because the defendants are young and because their charges are serious. Bilecki said the decision had nothing to do with behavior since arrest and that the State's Attorney's office had no input into the confinement conditions.

  9. I will put that on FB and Twitter right now.

  10. Wow, you people are crazy. I watched the events unfold and the police did an outstanding job. Many of the protesters came to Chicago looking for trouble and did all they could to instigate the police. When that failed they resorted to assault and when the police responded appropriately you cry, "police state!". I have never witnessed as much whining as I have from the protesters and I say that as a firefighter. We are known to be tremendous whiners ourselves but you beat us hands down.

    1. Where do you get your information from? Many of the protestors came to Chicago looking for trouble? How many protestors did you interview? I would complain too if my teeth were embedded in a police baton.

    2. When videos are made and distributed by organizations calling for 50,000 protestors to come to Chicago and "shut the city down" and these videos include footage of previous protests showing rioters breaking storefront windows and pelting police with debris, in essence glorifying these acts, I'd say they are looking for trouble.

    3. With all respect due to an anonymous commenter, I would point out that the protesters were peaceful and nonviolent; they are, and long have been, schooled in the methods of nonviolent resistance.

      There was indeed some violence and destruction of property--on the part of infiltrators whose purpose it is to undermine the Occupy movement. Kindly educate yourself before coming to my blog and addressing as "whiners" those citizens who are simply calling attention to the overbearing violence America's modern, militarized police forces are raining down on peaceful demonstrations.

  11. None dare call it a conspiracy.