Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2012 11:07:17 -0500
Subject: [unac] Please SIGN to support the right to protest at NATO & G8 Meetings in Chicago
(please forward widely)
We are presently locked in a major legal and political battle with the
City of Chicago and the federal government for the simple right to march and
rally on Saturday, May 19, against the war and poverty agenda of the NATO/G8
summit meetings planned for May 19-21.
We need your name and generous financial contribution now to
place the full-page advertisement that appears below in the Chicago
Sun Times in the next few weeks. Below the ad is also a list of initial
Signers. While any financial contribution that you are able to make now
is appreciated, we hope that you can manage a contribution in the range of
$25 - $100 to help pay for the ad.
Again, please send your contribution today and join us in this
nationally coordinated effort to obtain formal permits to exercise our
Constitutional right to free speech and assembly. We have no doubt
that the six months of violence-baiting, threats of mass arrests,
militarization of the Chicago Police Force and Chicago officials'
refusal to grant the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda
a simple permit has a single objective: to discourage the massive
turnout that we are projecting in these times of never-ending wars and
attacks on the very fabric of life of people across the globe.
We need to raise around $8,000 in a matter of weeks to cover the cost of
the ad and related expenses. You can contribute online via the DONATE
button at our website (UNACPeace.org) or by clicking the link below or you
can send your check payable to the United National Antiwar Coalition to UNAC,
P.O. Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054.
Or please respond to this UNACpeace@gmail.com stating your wish to sign the letter,
with your full name, title (if appropriate), organizational affiliation (let us know if we may use
the organization name as a signer of the ad) and the amount that you can contribute toward the
Joe Lombardo and Marilyn Levin, Co-National Coordinators
United National Antiwar Coalition
IN THE SPIRIT OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS...
FREE SPEECH AND ASSEMBLY MUST NOT BE DENIED IN CHICAGO
To: Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy
We the undersigned wish to express our deep concern regarding attempts by the City of Chicago to suppress peaceful protests during the May 19-21, 2012 NATO and G8 summit meetings. Specifically Saturday, May 19 is the date when sizable numbers are expected to gather in Chicago to exercise their democratic rights under the U.S. Constitution.
Following an extraordinary – possibly unprecedented – delay of 20 weeks in responding to a request for written permits for a demonstration at Daley Plaza (118 N. Clark St.) on this date, a denial was received. While we have subsequently been notified by the Chicago Public Building Commission that permits will be granted for Daley Plaza to still unspecified groups, the vague language of this response again raises serious questions as to the City's intentions and especially so since our original application was filed the day immediately following the public announcement of the NATO/G8 meetings – almost six months ago. This is, frankly, not acceptable.
Rather than repeat the City's past policies – which include the eviction of the celebrated Occupy Chicago encampment with numerous arrests – we would like the City to reverse course, welcome those attending protest events, and set a world standard for accountability, acceptance and respect for our guaranteed rights.
We greatly regret early positions reported in the Chicago Tribune on October 23, 2011 that the harsh crackdown on Occupy Chicago – in a clear violation of the constitutional right to free speech and peaceful assembly – was some sort of precedent for the City's planned behavior next May.
Designating the NATO/G8 summits as a National Special Security Event (NSSE) does not give city and federal authorities the right to suspend the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment clearly protects the right to free speech and assembly.
Efforts to correct these wrongs should begin immediately by allowing Occupy Chicago to camp in a public area, followed by issuing the permits in a timely manner that will ensure an orderly, peaceful, family-friendly experience for the City of Chicago next May during the meetings of NATO and the G8.
In that spirit, we petition you to: cease and desist from all actions that limit the constitutional rights of protesters to free speech and assembly; grant the Coalition Against NATO/G-8 War and Poverty Agenda, without delay, permits for rallies and marches within sight and sound of the forthcoming summits; cease making veiled threats of harsh treatment and arrest of those who are planning protests and those who are considering participation.
We live in troubled times where fundamental incursions on the right to assemble and peacefully protest in Chicago are coupled with ominous threats to our constitutional rights in general. Perhaps the most disturbing is the National Defense Authorization Act, approved by Congress on Dec. 15, that grants the government the right to conduct secret and indefinite detentions without recourse to counsel and without charges presented in a court of law.
We look forward to a positive and specific response to this appeal. No one will benefit more than the City of Chicago itself. Once again, the whole world will be watching.
Ramsey Clark, Human Rights Attorney, former U.S. Attorney General
Medea Benjamin, Founder CodePink
Mark Johnson, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation
Dr. Margaret Flowers, Congressional Fellow, Physicians for a National Health Program
Tom Hayden, Political activist
Bill Quigley, law professor Loyola University New Orleans
Kathy Kelly, Co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Joe Lombardo and Marilyn Levin, Co-coordinators, United National Antiwar Coalition
Jules Lobel, President, Center for Constitutional Rights
Cynthia McKinney, Former U.S. Congress member
Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Muslim Peace Coalition
Imam A. Abdul Baqui, Islamic Leadership Council of Metro N.Y.
Mike Ferner, Interim Executive director, Veterans for Peace
Coleen Rowley, Peace activists, former FBI agent and whistleblower
Michael Ratner, President Emeritus, Center for Constitutional Rights
Dr. Agha Saed, National Chair, American Muslim Alliance
Lynne Stewart, Human Rights Attorney and Political Prisoner
Debra Sweet, Director, World Can't Wait
Naomi Wolf, author
Ann Wright, Retired U.S. Colonel and Diplomat
Kevin Zeese, Antiwar leader
David Swanson, Author and founder of WarIsaCrime.org
Sara Flounders, Co-Director, International Action Center
Leah Bolger, Commander, U.S. Navy ret., Vice President, Veterans for Peace
Tom Burke, Committee to Stop FBI Repression
Steve Downs, Director & Co-founder, Project Salam
Shahid Buttar, Executive Director, Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Peter Erlinder, Chairperson, National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms
Alejandro Luis Molina, Co-coordinator, National Boricua Human Rights Network
Jan Susler, People's Law Office, ChicagoDave Zirin, Author People's History of Sports in the U.S.
Anthony Arnove, author of Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal and co-editor Voices of a
People's History of the United States
Jean Athey, Coordinator, Peace Action Montgomery MD
Nellie Hester Bailey, Co-Convenor, Occupy Harlem
Elaine Brower, National Steering Committee, World Can't Wait
Bob Clarke, President, Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights
David Cobb, Political Activist
Gary L. Cozette, Program Director, Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin
Jim Ferlo, State Senator, PA, 38th District
Paul George, Director, Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, CA
Rick Greenblatt, San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice
Teresa Gutierrez, Coordinator, May 1 Worker & Immigrant Rights Coalition
Larry Holmes, Coordinator, Bail Out the People Movement
Patricia Hunt, Chicago CodePINK, Chicago Area Peace Action
John Kirkland, Philly Against War
James Lafferty, Executive Director, Nationa Lawyers Guild, LA
Paul LeBlanc, Professor of History, La Roche College
Jeff Mackler, Director, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
Ben Manski, Executive Director, Liberty Tree Foundation
Suren Moodliar, Coordinator, Massachusetts Global Action
Lucy Pagoada, Honduras Resistencia USA
Trudy Quaif, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace
Sergio Reyes, Boston May Day Committee
Simin Royanian, Solidarity with Iran
Conrade Shahid, Secretary General, Pakistan USA Freedom Forum
Michael Stephen Smith Esq. Co-host, Law and Disorder Radio
Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for President of the U.S.
Sue Udry, Executive Director, Defending Dissent Foundation
Mel Underbakke, Ph. D., Director, Friends of Human Rights
(list in formation)
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