Siege of Chicago: The politics of fear and the Chicago Spring

“Milwaukee Red Cross Told To Prep For Chicago Evacuation During NATO Summit”

  The headline today that local Chicago corporate media fixated on is alarming. What could possibly compel a city of 8 million to flee the city, those refugee masses pouring across the border, 90 miles north to Milwaukee Wisconsin? Such an event would eclipse the exodus from New Orleans ahead of Katrina, and would be a truly historic event. Add to that, the news that downtown Chicago, where I work everyday, is now considered “The Red Zone.” Federal buildings will be guarded and patrolled by federal agents in full body armor with a suite of weaponry, including machineguns that fire high velocity beanbags. Last week, Blackhawk helicopters, with armed commandoes alarmed people here as they swept low over the city and lakefront. A colleague in the office is using her vacation time to avoid being downtown for the “violence.”

For more than a month, police officials-not the union cops- have raised a level of panic about not having enough body armor, and that the city council “must” approve emergency funds before its too late. Commuters have been pummeled with constant reports of disruptions , diversions, or cancellations of service. Downtown we are warned of increased security measures. The clock is ticking towards war in the streets of Chicago, the result of those Occupy and Peace protesters. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

This is not because of credible threats or outright threats from any protest group. Occupy Chicago and have not only pledged peaceful protests to city, state and federal officials, but are actively training activists in peaceful protest tactics. I have personally seen individuals who have shown violent intent banned from the movement and from being anywhere near Occupy actions. There are security and issue resolution teams within the movement meant to maintain focus and intercede in anything percieved as becoming violent, or anyone acting violenty. Indeed, the history of the movement in Chicago has not seen a single incidence of violence against individuals, property or authorities. The fear and hysteria being generated is entirely by police and government officials as proxies of corporate power elite who maintain a strangelhold on government.The media is the method of communication.

This is a siege. I was in Sarajevo, Bosnia during its 4 year long siege and blockade. The blockade comes from without. A siege comes from without, but also from within. A siege is fear, it is the volume of fear turned steadily up as to eradicate reason by those being targeted for that fear. That fear is a tool, and it is being employed with impunity in Chicago.

The financial powers that own our government and who weild the real might in this nation can rally the governemtnt police and military to secure and defend their selfish interests. They are cynical and adamant, and so concerned about the assertion of true citizen ship, about the audacity of Americans to demand make the government more responsive and more accessible to the individual, and less to corporate interests, that they…they will even descend to violence.

If violence happens in Chicago, it will be at the hands of these surrogates to corporate interests. it may be the police, pressed, not by the middleclass rank and file cops who share much with the protesters, it will be the politically motivated officers/management under orders from the Mayor’s office, or by federal agents so animated and whipped up for a fight that their tension overflows.

What was being called the Chicago Spring, a sublime assertion of Constitutional rights, human dignity and freedom is now giving way to something darker and far more dangerous. Begin the siege of Chicago…   

Please pass this article on to as many people as possible.  

About 900poundgorilla

W.C. Turck is a Chicago playwright and the author of four widely acclaimed books.His latest is "The Last Man," a prophetic novel of a world ruled by a single corporation. His first novel, "Broken: One Soldier's Unexpected Journey Home," was reccommended by the National Association of Mental Health Institutes. His 2009 Memoir, "Everything for Love" chronicled the genocide in Bosnia and the siege of Sarajevo. His third book "Burn Down the Sky" is published exclusively on Amazon Kindle. It was in Sarajevo at the height of the siege where he met and married his wife, writer and Artist Ana Turck. FOX NEWS, ABC, CBS News, the Chicago Tribune and The Joliet Herald covered their reunion after the war. He helped organized relief into Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. Turck has been a guest on WMAQ-TV, WLS in Chicago, WCPT, WBBM radio, National Public Radio, Best Of the Left and the Thom Hartmann show. He has spoken frequently on Human Rights, Genocide and Nationalism. In 2011, his play in support of the Occupy Movement, "Occupy My Heart-a revolutionary Christmas Carol" recieved national media attention and filled theaters to capacity across Chicago. He remains an activist to the cause of human rights and international peace. View all posts by 900poundgorilla

2 responses to “Siege of Chicago: The politics of fear and the Chicago Spring

  • Timmy

    It’s not entirely accurate that “the history of the movement in Chicago has not seen a single incidence of violence against individuals, property or authorities” but indeed these have been very rare, perhaps counted on one hand.

    Perhaps some who read this post are interested in asserting their right to free expression, in joining in solidarity with Occupy Chicago and other groups who will be active during the month of May. The more people who assert their right to protest and do so non-violently, the more likely the contrast will be between the citizens and their oppressors. here are a couple of URLs to helpful websites.

    I bristle at defining this as a siege when not one shot has been fired. I respect your background and experience, but I would respectfully suggest that since I am still free to walk the streets of Chicago and to come and go as I please, we are not in a siege.

    • 900poundgorilla

      The siege of Vienna by the Turks(no relation) in the 15th century was first a blockade, and when violence didn’t work the Turks smuggled coffee-still mostly unknown to Europe, through their own blockade in an attempt to conquer the city by addicting the population to caffiene. a siege is not merely violence but the implicit and explicit threat of violence. Violence can take many forms. The insinuation of fear, of simply being afraid is an assault on one’s liberty, and hwen the media and authorities employ phrases like “Red Zone,” or irrecponsibly float fear invoking stories about refugee camps for mass evacuations in Milwaukee, that is besieging the mind. Enough of that, and the body will follow.

      Peace, brother.

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