Occupy Chicago Speaks Out Against Proposed NATO, G8 Ordinance
Photo credit: Mario Garcia Baeza via flickr
Preparations for the upcoming NATO and G8 summits in May has led the city to introduce a city ordinance that would increase fines for resisting arrest and change the hours for parks and other public property. First introduced as temporary changes, the Chicago Tribune reports the changes would actually become permanent, raising concern amongst Occupy Chicago members.
“The mayor’s ordinance creates an unnavigable bureaucratic maze of new regulations that would dismantle peaceful protests before they even begin,” said members of Occupy Rogers Park and Occupy South Side coalitions in a release. “Many of the provisions that have been discussed are so prohibitive that organizations and individuals of limited means will be completely silenced.”
The proposed ordinance would change the fines for “resisting a police officer or aiding escape” from $25 to $200, with a maximum fine of $1,000. Additionally, public parks and playgrounds would be open to the public from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m, opening two hours later than they currently do. The ordinance would also allow the mayor to execute limited agreements with public and private entities for goods, work or services regarding planning, security, logistics and other aspects of hosting the NATO and G8 summits.
According to the city, the ordinance will allow local, state and federal public safety partners and other public and private entities to efficiently coordinate operations during the summits.
“From international boxing tournaments, former Olympic Games consideration to election night in Grant Park, the Office of Emergency Management and Communication (OEMC) is always planning, coordinating and developing precautionary measures to preserve the safety and integrity of the city of Chicago. This proposal will act as one more tool to assist the city of Chicago in preparing, planning and coordinating for a successful event,” said OEMC executive director Gary W. Schenkel in a statement.
The City Council is expected to consider the changes at its Jan. 18 meeting, according to the Chicago Tribune. In the meantime, residents plan to continue speaking against the proposed ordinance.
“We are not leaving, and we demand that [the ordinance] be deferred, published, and ultimately replaced by an ordinance that fully protects the human rights of all Chicagoans,” said members of Occupy Rogers Park and Occupy South Side coalitions.