Great article by the Chicago Tribune about the “Militarized Red Zone” that is being set up by police already, for the May 20th NATO summit.
I am impressed by this article because it addresses the double standard of the media to imply that the increased security is necessary for the Occupy Chicago protesters (which have been fully peaceful up to this point), as opposed to the wider pattern across the nation of police being involved with and inciting violence at most OWS protests.
The article chronicles historical examples of when police incited violence within peaceful protests to give them bad press. For example:
We’ve seen this script play out before. Under the notorious government COINTELPRO program of the 1960s and ’70s, police and FBI operatives would infiltrate civil rights and anti-war organizations and, finding nothing that could justify surveillance let alone repression, would invent or actively encourage violence and other illegal actions.
Closer to today, any serious look at the “poster child” for alleged protester violence, the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, shows that the police were the main cause of the violence.
Don’t take my word for it. Seattle’s former chief of police, Norm Stamper, has said so, repeatedly. He blamed not just the actions of rank-and-file officers but his own decision-making.
And juries of our peers have agreed with Stamper’s assessment, repeatedly. Seattle paid out $1.8 million to WTO protesters due to the violence and other misconduct of its police officers. Washington, D.C., paid out $22 million to protesters and bystanders due to police violence and other misconduct during two protests in 2000 and 2002. Los Angeles paid close to $12.85 million for a police attack on a 2007 May Day rally. And in February, Chicago agreed to pay $6.2 million to Iraq War demonstrators, on top of millions in attorneys’ fees.