Last week, World Can’t Wait Chicago was invited by an ad hoc group to join in a protest of the U.S.-backed Saudi bombardment of Yemen. We were heartened by the call! Although organized on short notice, it was good to see 50-75 people on Saturday with banners and signs saying “Hands Off Yemen!” and “No U.S. Intervention!” Of course we brought out the “Crimes Are Crimes” banner with mugshots of Bush and Obama as a reminder that this whole messy situation has been shaped and triggered in large part by the U.S. military over the course of the past +14 years.
While not many passersby stopped to join the protest, we did get some supportive comments, and many accepted fliers. There were quite a few confused looks as well. The situation in Yemen has developed quickly, and without much attention in the press, so informing people (including many tourists, as we were on Michigan Ave.) of the basic facts of this unjust war was important. (Read more analysis and watch a video of our action here.)
What: Chicago Rally for LGBTQ Rights during Supreme Court Hearing
When: 5 PM, Tuesday, April 28
Where: Federal Plaza, Adams & Dearborn, Chicago Loop
Who: Initiated by Gay Liberation Network, endorsed by World Can’t Wait Chicago and many other organizations
“On April 28, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about striking down bans on same-sex marriage in four states, with a decision expected in June.
But the Court’s deliberations potentially will be about much more than marriage rights. With phoney “religious liberty” bills popping up around the country, including in next-door Indiana, our opponents are striking back by attacking our equal access to public accommodations such as businesses, housing, jobs and restrooms.
How the Court decides these issues can be as much about public opinion — expressed through public demonstrations — as anything else. LGBTQ people have ALWAYS deserved equal rights, but it’s only in recent years with voices from American communities that the courts are responding. Please show the Supreme Court that you want equal rights by joining us and your neighbors for an equal rights rally in Chicago – Tuesday, April 28!” (Facebook event here)
From Progress Illinois:
In other news, a separate demonstration was held on U of C’s campus Thursday afternoon to protest John Yoo, who was speaking at the university’s law school for a workshop. Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer under President George W. Bush’s administration, co-wrote the so-called “torture memos” drafted after 9/11 that authorized the use of torture techniques in CIA interrogations.
The Chicago chapter of World Can’t Wait spearheaded the protest against Yoo, held in front of the U of C Law School.”It is unconscionable that this unrepentant torture architect is being honored at another prestigious university, here in our city,” Chicago World Can’t Wait wrote on its website. “John Yoo has no right to speak on any ethical or legal matter – he should be on trial for the ‘work’ he did for the Bush regime.”
Every single day, someone’s brother or sister, father or mother, is killed by police in this country, police who almost never face charges, let alone conviction and prison. A powerful movement took to the streets last autumn that inspired millions of us, but the killing continues. Now what will we do?
Maybe you think that the police murder of unarmed Black and Brown civilians in the U.S. has nothing to do with the crimes perpetrated by the United States around the globe, but there are many parallels and connections. Watch this short video from a young Chicagoan who explains why she thinks it affects all of us.
When police murdered Michael Brown and Eric Garner, grand juries did not deliver justice, no police were prosecuted, and Black and Brown people, especially youth, continue to be criminalized, targeted, and outright murdered by the police. The execution of Walter Scott (photo), revealed just this week, is one more sickening and outrageous example that we know about only because of the courage of a young man who shared his video with Walter’s family. Only then were the lies the cops told exposed. What if there had been no video? And in the face of this state-sanctioned murder, the United States continues to claim to be “number one” in human rights!
The release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture at the end of 2014 revealed sickening details of the brutality and torture that many detainees, including those held at Guantanamo, have endured at the hands of U.S. agents. These crimes too have been sanctioned by officials at the highest level, and none of them have been held to account either. The U.S. government has targeted and killed thousands of innocent people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia through its drone program, all without any legal, let alone moral foundation. A drone operater who sees a group of people on his screen and presumes they are terrorists is not at all unlike U.S. police officers when they see a group of youth on some street corner and immediately presum that something is afoot. All of these horrors are committed in the name of our “security and safety,” whether it means targeting Black and Latino people here in this country or targeting people around the globe.
What it comes down to is this – what we allow our government to do here in this country, we allow it do to others around the world and vice versa. American lives are not more important than anyone else’s and Black and Brown lives matter just as much as white. We stand with those in the righteous struggle to end police brutality and murder here because the system that brutalizes, tortures, and oppresses people around the globe is the same system that brutalizes, tortures, and oppresses Black and Latino people in its own streets. World Can’t Wait calls on everyone to be part of April 14 actions to Shut Down and STOP murder by police!
Join us this Tuesday at 3 PM, download and distribute this flyer, be part of Shutting Down April 14 to STOP police murder wherever you are!
The U.K. Guardian newspaper has exposed a Chicago Police Department secret site where people have been held and interrogated without contact with the outside world, without legal counsel, without any rights. “The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden ‘black sites.‘”
Now that we know, we must act to demand that this abuse and torture stop. World Can’t Wait Chicago joins many other anti-war and justice organizations in endorsing this emergency protest:
When: 3 PM, Saturday, Feb. 28
Where: 3379 W. Fillmore St. & Homan St.
What: “Protest to Shut Down Homan Square”
If you are on Facebook, please join the event there and invite friends.
If you are on Twitter, the hashtag for this event is #Gitmo2Chicago.
Homan Square represents an institutionalization of practices that go back over 4 decades in Chicago, with direct ties to U.S. torture practices worldwide. Jon Burge, former Chicago police detective, ran a ring of cops who tortured at least 200 people, almost all men, almost all Black, from 1972 to 1999. Burge learned his torture techniques in Vietnam. We learned just recently that another Chicago policeman, Richard Zuley, took his “brutal regime of shackling and confession” from Chicago to Guantanamo, where he led “one of the most shocking acts of torture ever conducted at Guantanamo.”
On January 15, the 14th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo, we said, “This year we will continue to stand firm in our demand that Guantanamo be shut down and that the remaining men be freed. We will work with those in the righteous struggle to end police brutality and murder [here in the U.S.] to make it clear to all that the system that brutalizes, tortures, and oppresses people around the globe is the same system that brutalizes, tortures, and oppresses Black and Latino people in its own streets. We will work to make 2015 the Year of Reckoning for the crimes of torture committed in our name.”
The demand for reparations for the men tortured at the hands of the CPD, to shut down Homan Square, and finally close Guantanamo and release the men held in that torture camp are all part of the same struggle. Only our active, independent political resistance will end these crimes committed in our name. Join us!
The 14th anniversary of Guantanamo comes at a time of tremendous outpourings demanding justice and an end to police brutality in this country in the wake of the murders of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and countless others by police. Grand juries have not delivered justice, police are not prosecuted, and Black and Latino men, particularly youth, continue to be criminalized, targeted, and outright murdered with impunity in a country that claims to be number one in human rights and civil rights.This anniversary also comes at a time when the Senate has finally released the Torture Report that reveals sickening details of the brutality and torture that many detainees, including those held at Guantanamo, endured at the hands of the U.S. Government and which the highest officials are guilty of sanctioning and have yet to be held to account. This year we will continue to stand firm in our demand that Guantanamo be shut down and that the remaining men be freed. We will work with those in the righteous struggle to end police brutality and murder to make t clear to all that the system that brutalizes, tortures, and oppresses people around the globe is the same system that brutalizes, tortures, and oppresses Black and Latino people in its own streets. We will work to make 2015 the Year of Reckoning for the crimes of torture committed in our name.
We will begin the day’s events with a powerful and creative action in front of the Art Institute at 4:30pm 111 S. Michigan (look for the orange jumpsuits) which will be followed by a spirited march, with some in orange jumpsuits and black hoods, to the Federal Courthouse (Dearborn and Jackson). We wil then march to Grace Place for the evening event with Andy Worthington, author of “The Guantanamo Files: The Stories of 744 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison” and other guest speakers. Join the event on facebook here https://www.facebook.com/events/1544693652437770/
What the world needs to see NOW is a broad and diverse movement in this country that is determined to stop the crimes of our government that are committed everyday, around the world, in our name. And that’s what your donation will make possible in the year ahead. Please take a minute – really, just a minute – to watch this video capturing a few of the highlights of bold and creative actions in the past year by World Can’t Wait activists here in Chicago and around the country. Then donate whatever you can NOW, when your donation will be matched, thanks to other generous supporters. Thank you!
Start the New Year Right!
We received this announcement from Stop Mass Incarceration Network Chicago:
NO NEW YEAR UNDER THIS OLD SYSTEM!
WE CAN’T BREATHE!
When: 10 PM, Wed., Dec. 31
Where: Tribune Plaza, 435 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago
Bring everyone you know! Bring your whistles! All actions should be nonviolent and creative.
Bring banners and signs you can carry under your coat. Please be on time, bitter cold weather predicted, dress warmly!
Read more here: “Rock in the New Year with Resistance to Police Murder!”
If you are on Facebook, please “join” the event there and invite all your friends!
New Year’s Resolutions:
Close Guantanamo – End Torture!
Thursday, Jan. 15
4:30 Rally and Protest, starting at The Art Institute, Chicago
7:00 Close Guantanamo Now! Panel with Andy Worthington, Candace Gorman, and Debra Sweet
Grace Place, 637 S. Dearborn, Chicago
On January 11, the US torture camp at Guantanamo will have been open 13 years. More than 100 men are still held, the majority of whom were cleared for release years ago. They suffer not knowing if they will be released, held indefinitely, most without charges or trials. Some are still on protest hunger strike, and being force-fed by the U.S. military. Join World Can’t Wait in protesting this shameful anniversary with a protest followed by a rare opportunity to hear leading voices working to close this torture camp.
Andy Worthington is a British freelance investigative journalist. He has been researching and writing about Guantanamo since 2006, and has worked with the United Nations as a consultant and was a media partner to WikiLeaks to prepare for the release of its files pertaining to Guantanamo. He is the co-founder of the Close Guantanamo campaign, authored the book “The Guantanamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison,” and co-directed the documentary “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.” His website, featuring regular blogs about Guantánamo, receives half a million page views per month and has been archived by the British Library. In 2013, in recognition of his work on Guantánamo, he was short-listed for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. He is the co-ordinator of the new campaign StandwithShaker. Andy will be speaking in Chicago with Candace Gorman, civil rights attorney and blogger who represents a man still held at Guantanamo, and Debra Sweet, the director of World Can’t Wait.
Come to our next Chicago World Can’t Wait Meeting this coming Monday September 8th (7 PM) at St. Gertrude’s, in the building at 6214 N. Glenwood (just a few blocks east of the Granville stop on the Red line, with a big parking lot for those who drive)
This Saturday, the Great March for Climate Action comes to Chicago! This is one stop on a march across the country, starting in Los Angeles and ending in Washington, DC, in partnership with the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21. A U.N. Scientific Panel just released a report that sounds the alarm: the harm caused by global climate change could spiral “out of control” if action is not taken immediately. But we’ve seen that politics as usual will NOT address this emergency; only independent, mass political resistance will. And there is no better time than now to join the Stop the Crimes on Our Planet contingent at the largest climate change protest ever in New York City on September 21 (see side bar).
On September 6, the Great March for Climate Action arrives in Oak Park. Everyone is invited to join it at Scoville Park (814 Lake St., Oak Park) between 7 am and 8 am. People can join at Garfield Park Conservatory and Buckingham Fountain as well. The Chicago Climate March will then culminate in a rally at Daley Plaza at 2 PM rally. All the details, including the march route, are here.
“I am going to the New York People’s Climate March because I am hoping it will be a turning point in the world’s governments’ (especially my government’s) willingness to tackle this critical issue, and I don’t want to sit on the sidelines.” That’s what one World Can’t Wait volunteer wrote – are YOU going to sit on the sidelines? Don’t – the stakes are too high! Join us in New York on Sept. 21. Take the bus or the train, and contact our WCW national office if you need help with housing. Whatever it takes, join the Stop the Crimes on Our Planet Contingent!
Another life stolen by police, people demand justice
Roshad McIntosh, just 18 years old, was gunned down by the Chicago Police Dept. on August 24 on the West Side. Cynthia Lane, his mother still does not know the name of the man who murdered her son. Many witnesses have reported that Roshad was surrendering when he was shot. On August 27, hundreds of people marched to demand justice for Roshad, in the spirit of Ferguson, daily rallies are being held to demand that the autopsy report be released, the police involved be prosecuted, and an end to police terror.
We received this notice from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network Chicago:
“Show your support for the family, who have vowed to protest daily until answers are provided, by attending the funeral this Saturday, Sept. 6. Services will be held at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, 743 S. Sacramento, at Lexington Ave. The wake will be 10-11a.m. and the funeral from 11-noon.”
Photo: courtesy Nader Awad @nawadNYC
Come to New York Next Month –
March with the Stop the Crimes Against Our Planet Contingent!
People’s Climate March
September 21, 2014
New York City
Stop the Crimes Against Our Planet
Humanity & The Planet Must Come First -
The World Can’t Wait!
World leaders have called for yet another International Conference at the U.N. in September. Their meeting will, however, do nothing to stop the global environment’s escalating destruction. Using the justifications of “national security” and “business necessities,” the U.S. government itself has consistently sabotaged climate talks, supported dangerous drilling, fracking, plunder, and exploitation of non-renewable energy resources here and around the world. It has also ruthlessly prosecuted and jailed environmental and animal rights activists explicitly as “terrorists.”
(Graphic by Lance Page/Truthout)
Only the direct action of thousands and ultimately millions of people can create a movement that will stem the systemic abuse of nature and its dire consequences for the planet. Politics as usual has not and will not reverse this disastrous direction. As World Can’t Wait’s Mission Statement warns: “That which we do not resist and mobilize to stop, we will learn – or be forced – to accept.”
We must act to protect and preserve the world’s fast-vanishing natural ecosystems and stem climate change catastrophe. If not, this planet could very well become uninhabitable for billions of people, and possibly all of humanity, as well as for much of the world’s flora and fauna.
The United States government leads in crimes against the planet:
* The Obama administration opposes any serious curbing of fossil fuel use in this country. The new rules on power plant emissions will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by only four percent below the levels measured in 1990, although scientists and climate studies have shown that massive cuts of 25 to 40 percent are needed by 2020 if there is to be any hope of preventing the very worst impacts of climate change.
* In fact, the Pentagon is the world’s biggest single user of fossil fuel, fueling illegitimate wars to maintain and expand the U.S. empire. Oil is a strategic resource and the U.S. government acts to control it at all costs, including the planet’s very viability. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for example, has been a cheerleader for U.S. oil companies exploiting melting polar ice caps to drill in the Artic Sea to pre-empt Russia.
* Fossil fuels are only part of the engine of destruction. For example, U.S. government policy subsidizes large factory “farming” to produce meat, eggs, and diary, resulting in 18 percent of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. Animal waste leaches antibiotics and hormones into ground and water; pesticides and fertilizers find their way into streams, rivers, and coastal water, thereby adding to ocean acidification.
Truly, the WORLD CAN’T WAIT!
March with the Stop the Crimes on Our Planet Contingent on September 21, 2014, in New York City for the People’s Climate March. We bring a vision of a society built on sustainable resources and justice for all the world’s peoples from right here in the heart of one of the main countries responsible for climate catastrophe.
The national office of World Can’t Wait, located in New York, is arranging housing. Please contact our volunteers there if you need housing or if you know someone in New York who can offer housing to people coming there for the march. Donations are also urgently needed to fund our office, and all our work. Thank you for all your support!
Tickets are still available on the Illinois Bus to the People’s Climate March, but don’t wait too long! You can sign up here. There are also a few tickets left for the People’s Climate Train, travelling across country and taking on passengers in Chicago on Sept. 18. Sign up for the train here. But however you get to New York, be part of this massive historic outpouring to show the world that tens of thousands of us in this country are determined to stop these crimes – for humanity and the planet!
The World Can’t Wait Chicago chapter is meeting tomorrow Monday Aug. 18th (7 PM) at St. Gertrude’s, in the building at 6214 N. Glenwood (just a few blocks east of the Granville stop on the Red line, with a big parking lot for those who drive). We will be discussing ideas and plans for the People’s Climate March in NYC in September and we also be discussing ideas of how to be a part of and bring others into stopping the U.S. backed Israel Assaults On Gaza
On Saturday August 16th The Chicago Coalition to Shut Down Guantanamo, of which Chicago World Can’t Wait is a part of gathered at North Avenue Beach to protest the annual Air and Water Show. While people come to enjoy the spectacle of planes and boats we reminded them that many of these planes are instruments of death used in the advancement of empire. Here are some following links on news coverage of the protest http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/08/16/thousands-crowd-lakefront-as-blue-angels-return-to-chicago-air-and-water-show/
Here is video of the die in we did at the Air and Water showhttp://
From Debra Sweet, Director of World Can’t Wait, on Thurday evening’s Stop Israel’s War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity on the People of Gaza
“Thursday evening’s gathering at Cooper Union to Stop Israel’s War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity on the People of Gaza focused on bringing voices from Gaza on the depth of the destruction there; the enabling role of the huge U.S. government political, economic and military support for Israel’s occupation of Gaza, and on ways people in the U.S. can be active in stopping that support.
It was great to see so many people at the event. Thanks to our volunteer livestreamer, Jay, we were able to get the signal across the globe. We know that people in Palestine and Israel were watching, and one of the speakers, who was in Malaysia. You can watch it here. Very soon, we’ll have audio and video clips and many more photos from other volunteers. You can see some now at the Facebook event.
The program brought the lives of people in Gaza to the screen, and into our consciousness. Fida Qishta, a Palestinian film maker, who brought a clip of her film “Where Should the Birds Fly”, spoke briefly herself, and then brought up Mr. Mansour, a journalist who happened to be visiting from Gaza for a few days. She translated from Arabic. We were riveted as he related being “numb” from the bombing, and from losing so much. Two film makers, and three other speakers told of the direct losses people have suffered. You can see Fida and the journalist in a clip that’s just been posted.
There’s much more to share from the many fine speakers, so stay tuned.
photos: Deanna Gorzynsky. Video: Cat Watters
While about 400 people were at the Gaza event, about 1,000 people gathered at Union Square, and many marched to Times Square, for a protest of the police killings of Mike Brown in Ferguson MO and Eric Garner in Staten Island.”
Last night, Obama announced renewed U.S. military strikes in Iraq, and the New York Times reports that they have begun. Obama stated two purposes: to protect U.S. personnel and to provide humanitarian aid. He said this action is to “stop ruthless campaigns against Iraqis” and prevent further bloodshed. In fact, the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has taken more than 1,000,000 Iraqi lives and displaced millions more. And U.S. policy fueled the sectarian strife that ISIS and the Maliki government now thrive on. We grieve for the enormous suffering of the Iraqi people, and we see nothing good coming from ISIS or the U.S., but U.S. imperialism is by far the more murderous of the two, and its crimes are committed in our name, by our government. We say: NO! Not In Our Name!
When: Today, Friday, Aug. 8, 4:30 to 5:30 PM
Where: Federal Plaza, Adams & Dearborn, Chicago
Who: World Can’t Wait Chicago, Gay Liberation Network, NW Indiana Vets for Peace, Anti-War Committee – Chicago, and more.
Facebook event here
Obama also said he ordered these strikes because the U.S. can’t “turn a blind eye to genocide” but obviously that was fine when Israel attacked the defenseless people of Gaza. In fact, Obama and all of Congress repeatedly expressed their support for that massacre. No, these renewed U.S. strikes on Iraq are nothing more or less than the U.S. attempting to exert its domination over Iraq and the region. These strikes are just as unjust, illegal and illegitimate as the past two decades and more of U.S. wars, invasion, and occupation and we will continue to resist!
* * * * * * * *
Chicago March Against World Silence on Gaza
Sunday, August 10, 2:30 PM
Michigan Ave. and Congress
Facebook event here
As we write this, initial reports indicate that the cease fire in Gaza has been broken and Israeli forces have again invaded Gaza. Israel refused to lift its seige of Gaza during negotiations, leaving the people there in extreme crisis, a situation Hamas rejected. Over 1,940 Palestinians have already been killed, the vast majority civilians, including many children. Israel bombed seven schools run by the U.N. after the U.N. repeatedly gave their exact location to the Israeli military. After weeks of bombing and invasion, the people of Gaza face a humanitarian nightmare: almost no potable water or electricity, most of their manufacturing capacity destroyed, hospitals and emergency facilities devastated and almost half a million people without homes to return to. These are crimes of epic proportions, executed by Israel with the full backing of the U.S. government.
Join us and thousands in the streets of Chicago this Sunday to demand an end to the Israeli siege of Gazaand support for justice for Palestine. (Photo on right from BBC, Aug. 9, 2014)
Protest U.S. kidnapping, torture, and drone assassinations!
The Chicago Coalition to Shut Down Guantanamo will protest U.S. militarism and human rights violations at this year’s Chicago Air & Water Show. We will be there to remind everyone that war planes are instruments of death, not entertainment, and civilians are victims of these weapons on a daily basis.
August Meeting Postponed
We are postponing our August meeting until 7 PM, Monday, Aug. 18, St. Gertrude’s, 6214 N. Glenwood, Chicago. We are postponing the meeting so everyone can to attend a reading by Ali Abunimah from his new book, “The Battle for Justice in Palestine,” at the Evanston Public Library. This event, scheduled for months, was suddenly canceled last week by the Library, which cited concerns about “balance” and insisted on a pro-Israel speaker along with Mr. Abunimah. It took sustained public outcry about this unprecedented act of censorship and insult to Mr. Abunimah’s credibility to reinstate his presentation as originally planned. All seats at the Library are now reserved but we understand a live video feed is planned for Lake St. Church, 607 Lake Street, Evanston. Check here for the latest details.