Posts tagged NATO summit
A militarized Chicago is now the ‘new normal’
RELATED AUDIO: America As A Police State
Remember last year when Rahm Emanuel was in a crazy hurry to leave the big stage of Washington politics and run for mayor of Chicago? Did that strike any of you as a strange thing to do? Well, as it turns out, we now have the answer to that plaguing question. Rahm left Washington at the behest of Obama and the NWO players to become mayor of Chicago so he could turn that town into America’s very first open, militarized police state. Think we are overstating? Then read this article from the UK Guardian. They nailed it….
From the Guardian UK: With NATO delegates arriving Saturday night, the City of Chicago has been turned into a police state. Courtesy of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who several months ago began implementing new draconian anti-protest measures, Chicago has gone on security lockdown. Starting early Friday night, 18 May 2012, the Chicago Police Department began shutting down – prohibiting cars, bikes, and pedestrians – miles and miles of highways and roads in the heart of Chicago to create a security perimeter around downtown and McCormick Place (where the Nato summit is being held).
Eight-foot tall, anti-scale security fencing went up all over that perimeter and downtown, including Grant Park; and the Chicago police – as well as myriad other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI and the US secret service – were out in force on riot-geared horses, bikes, and patrols – batons at the ready. Philadelphia Police Department is sending over reinforcements to help out; Chicago has also asked for recruits from police departments in Milwaukee and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, NC. Meanwhile, F-16 warplanes ”screamed through the skies as part of a pre-summit defense exercise” and helicopters hovered incessantly.
The Chicago Police Department has spent $1m in “riot-control equipment” in anticipation of the Nato summit. According to the Guardian, “The city of Chicago’s procurement services website shows that in March  $757,657 was spent on 8,513 ‘retro-fit kits’ to be fitted to police helmets. In February  673 of the same kits, which include a face shield and ear and neck protectors, were purchased for $56,632.” Plus, the Chicago Police Department will be deploying its two, new, expensive long-range acoustic device (LRAD) sound cannons – which it bought at $20,000 a pop. These are the type of devices that were used by the Pittsburgh police to deliver high-pitched alarm tones during the G20 summit meeting there in 2009.
Then, there is the “secret suburban Chicago” police control center where “officials from more than 40 different agencies sit side by side with a giant central screen before them,” as reported by the Chicago Sun Times. From the multi-agency command center, all different types of federal, state and local law enforcement can “view live video feeds from security cameras that are already up and running throughout the city”.
As one commentators suggests, Chicagoans are experiencing the “New Military Urbanism in Nato-Occupied Chicago”. The extensive nature of these security measures (as reported by the US secret service), road closures and pedestrian restrictions included dozens of road closures (at least 7.5 miles of closed roads, by my calculation), beginning Friday at midnight and going through evening rush hour on Monday, 21 May. There will also be airspace restrictions over Chicago (the flight advisory is here). In addition, there will be marina and waterway restrictions, with the creation of special “maritime security zones”, and an increased presence of US Coast Guard during the summit.
So, welcome, NATO, to the Chicago police state 2012. It may be hard to see or experience the security measures from within the perimeter, but for Chicagoans, the new experience is chilling. As one Chicagoan reportedly told NBC Chicago, the mass of security equipment “made her feel like she was on ‘lockdown’.”
A few further points are worth mentioning. First, it is astounding – but sadly, not surprising – that the City of Chicago would deny protest permits or make protest so difficult in Chicago because of alleged inconveniences to traffic and ordinary business. Our new Chicago lockdown belies any suggestion that the city cares about such inconveniences. While Mayor Emanuel has bent backwards for Nato, first amendment free speech receives dramatically less accommodation.
Second, this police state serves, in reality, as our new welfare state. The security mania represents our truly unique way of stimulating the economy, of employing piece labor, of creating government jobs and subsidized contracts. Just think of the amount of overtime pay that we are disbursing with all this policing. Instead of investing in schools and education, in job training, or in re-entry programs, this is how we invest in our future. And we never think of it as government welfare because it falls in that sacred space of security – because, essentially, of the American paradox of laissez-faire and mass punishment.
Third, and finally, all of this is, sadly, here to stay. NATO will come and go, but the new anti-protest laws, the new riot-gear, the two LRAD sound cannons, and all the normalization of this police state … that will be with us for a long time. source – Guardian UK
The Chicago way
Israel will not be invited to NATO’s May 20-21 summit in Chicago, the alliance’s top official said Friday. But he denied that alliance member Turkey had blocked Israel’s participation.
Instead, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the reason is because Israel does not participate in NATO’s main military missions.
News reports have claimed that Turkey blocked Israel’s participation because of the raid in 2010 by Israeli troops on ships heading to Gaza in which eight Turks and a Turkish-American died.
NATO has a system of partnerships with dozens of nations across the globe such as the Mediterranean Dialogue, a NATO outreach program with seven friendly nations, including Israel.
In the past, partner nations did not usually attend the alliance’s summits. But Fogh Rasmussen said 13 would do so this time.
“At the Lisbon summit (in 2010), we made clear that we would enhance dialogue and cooperation with partner nations … because in today’s world security challenges know no borders, and no country or alliance can deal with most of them on their own,” he told journalists.
Two other members of the Mediterranean group, Jordan and Morocco, are among them. But Fogh Rasmussen said Israel is not because it does not participate in missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo.
“Israel has not been invited to attend the summit because Israel is neither a participant in ISAF nor in KFOR … no one has blocked an invitation because it’s not been an issue,” Fogh Rasmussen said. ISAF and KFOR are acronyms for coalition forces in Afghanistan and Kosovo.
Earlier this year, Turkey scuttled a plan to include an Israeli warship in a NATO-run flotilla patrolling the Mediterranean.
In the past, Israeli warships and air force jets have joined in some NATO exercises, but Israel’s participation in the naval operation would the first time its armed forces have taken part in one of the alliance’s military operations.
Representatives of about 60 nations and international organizations will attend the Chicago conference. Partner nations include include Sweden, Switzerland, Qatar, Georgia, Australia and New Zealand.
Representatives of Russia and several Central Asian states also have been invited to discuss the war in Afghanistan — the summit’s main focus — “because they provide important transit arrangements to the benefit of our operation,” Fogh Rasmussen said. The alliance has repeatedly said it is prepared to enhance practical cooperation with all partner nations in the region, including Israel. But some members have opposed past attempts to forge closer cooperation with the Jewish state, saying that could hurt the alliance’s relations with other Muslim countries, including Afghanistan, which remains NATO’s top operational priority. source – ABC News
Chicago – Blackhawks and A/MH-6 Little Bird helicopters used by special forces circling low through downtown Chicago skies made for a scary scene along the Chicago River, as they rattled windows flying among the city’s skyscrapers.
The training exercise comes as the city found out some of the details of what the Secret Service wants for security at next month’s summit at McCormick Place. It was frightening,” Jessica Hill said. “I was definitely alarmed.”
At least three Blackhawk helicopters flying at time in close order formation – at other times separating fairly widely – zoomed around office and residential towers for several hours.
“I was pretty amazed,” Felise Llano said, “because they were definitely military.”
Witnesses described three to four very heavily armed men in each chopper. Several said some of the men appeared to be tethered and were at times literally hanging out of the choppers, and looked ready to jump.
Calling it routine training, city officials said in a statement such exercises are conducted by military personnel in various cities around the country. They say the exercises are designed to improve the military’s ability to operate in urban environments.
Emergency management officials said the training sites have been selected to minimize the impact on residents’ daily routines.
The timing of the drills led some to wonder if they’re in preparation for next month’s NATO summit. But officials said that the summit and the drills are unrelated. source – Fox Chicago