21 Days in May; an Occupy novella, part twenty-one

The NATO summits had only revealed fully what many feared was emerging in America. No longer was this the  stuff of fiction, or the Hollywood fantasy of Gestapo agents and Nazi  stormtroopers exacting justice on a whim, as if judges and courts and laws were their individual domain, and a sacred language only they understood.

Was it really possible to destroy a man through the art of propaganda. Was the media, acting in conspiracy with the police state complicit in fabricating pure fiction from the fertile ground of lazy and unquestioning minds, until belief superseded truth and reason and skepticism? The headline that d ay in the Chicago Tribune screamed that difference:

Bridgeport arrests: Molotov cocktails or brewing equipment?

By Rosemary R. Sobol, Jeremy Gorner and Todd LightyTribune reporters

5:33 p.m. CDT, May 18, 2012

As the NATO summit nears, Chicago police detained at least nine people in an investigation into the alleged making of Molotov cocktails, but four were released today without charges…The nine ranged in age from their 20s to a 66-year-old grandfather with a heart condition. Several were with the Occupy movement…Building residents described black-clad police officers with battering rams and guns drawn coming into the building, searching their apartments and refusing to tell them what was going on. One resident told the Tribune police taunted him and his roommate, repeatedly calling them communists and using anti-gay slurs…Darrin Annussek, 36, one of the Bridgeport nine who was released today, described being handcuffed and shackled for 18 hours in an “interrogation room.” He said police refused his request to use a restroom and did not read him his constitutional rights.

“None of us were told why this was happening,” Annussek told reporters Friday outside the Harrison District station this afternoon.

Annussek, who had the numbers “1968” scrawled in magic marker on his right wrist from when police processed him, said police told him he was being held on a “conspiracy” charge. A social worker who got laid off, Annussek arrived in Chicago in time for the May Day march. He said he began marching in November from Philadelphia and Atlanta, “to try and spread the positive message of Occupy Wall Street.”

“To be charged with felony conspiracy to endanger anybody’s life is not only a slap in the face, it’s against everything I stand for,” he said.

William Vassilakis, who said he was hosting those who were arrested, said there were no materials to create a explosive device. Instead, Vassilakis said police confiscated supplies he uses to make beer.police would not answer their questions or show them a search warrant. “The only thing we were told was that we were in the middle of an investigation,” he said.

Police looked through books in the apartment, finding feminist writings and a book about the selected writings of Karl Marx, best known for his Communist Manifesto.  The resident said police repeatedly called him and his roommate communists, used anti-gay slurs and teased them about going to jail.the officer took a more confrontational tone and started quizzing him about the photo on his phone’s home screen, which he described as a “fantasy painting.”

“He asked me, ‘What’s the deal with the photo?’ and that’s when he called for backup,” the man said.

Two more officers came upstairs and “that’s when he pulled me out and they searched my place,” he said. The man added that the officer took his phone away from him for 15 to 20 minutes while the search was going on.

Before the search of his own apartment ended, the man said, the police officer said he would only return his phone if he agreed to show police the photos stored on his phone “to show that I had no association” with the people downstairs.

The man said he did not know the group in the apartment below and that he has not participated in any political demonstrations.

The officers never physically mishandled him, he said. “They were very nice about stomping on my civil rights…”

But the message was unequivocal and had been rendered loudly and clearly. Somewhere within that rendering was the line between fiction and reality, between fact and untruths masquerading as truth. All were woven so artfully that one was completely indistinguishable from the other. The corporate media sold consumption and gluttony, but couldn’t sell it to a wise and informed populace. Politician’s could hardly dupe and educated people, so truth and reality and fact had to be undone. They could not simply be destroyed, they had to be undermined and confused in the minds of the public, so that each person called reality into question on their own accord.

And so a bunch of “commie faggot hippies” were roughed up, jailed, their civil liberties violated. It was the same for the guy walking along Michigan Avenue who was stopped searched and questioned by three plain clothed officers. So the population had been so animated by fear of the protesters, that the public could rightly claim they had no clue what the protests were about. Individually these things would be forgotten. Together they sent a clear and undeniable message.

Freedom and democracy in America was being eradicated. Dissent, while not explicitly a crime was now essentially a crime. It affirmed an ideal  surrendered and squandered by older generations, and shouted to their legacies that freedom isn’t a right or even a privilege any more in America, but an allowance, barely tolerated by men with power and guns. While not explicitly a crime, freedom and dissent were essentially crimes.  


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 “21 Days in May; an Occupy novella, part twenty-one

  • jeno630

    W.C., I have been following your novella and find it to be an interesting work of fiction, with clear connections to real-world events. As I read you prose, I cannot help but think of The Hunger Games series. I was clearly not a fan of those works and find the premise profoundly disturbing. However, I later burned through both books (full disclosure, the audio versions) because I so enjoyed her fiction. You and Ms. Collins have much in common, keep on writing!

    You clearly have a passion for your position. This effort shows your commitment to that position. While your writing has not altered my position about the validity of NATO, I support your right to share it and quite frankly, look forward to reading it.

    I found this article on NATO that I wanted to share with you I would be curious as to your thoughts on it.


    I am looking forward to how this story concludes, thanks for sharing it!

    • 900poundgorilla

      Jeno, I think this proves that Libs and Conserveratives can find some common groumd, and that there is room for us as people. It could not be a greater compliment other than you are reading and invested in the story. Thank you. I have an idea where this leads, but how I get there is the million dollar question. Old time story telling, unfolding in thedigital age, but just as daring and unpredictable. As for the NATO article. I am in agreement that the world needs to engage more strongly.We did indeed help the Libyans, but they still harbor a great deal of skepticism about the west, as much a product of their propaganda and ignorance as our actions and ignorance. Its the whole the enemy of my enemy is my friend deal. From the Arab perspective, NATO is still a Western War power bombing civilians in Afghanistan, mum on Palestine, distant on Syriaand all too slow to respond in Kosovo and Bosnia. They are inundated bypropaganda(real and contrived) abouteconomic interests leading the efforts of NATO more than any true love for Muslims or human rights. Placing NATO at the lead, or even as a substantial partner in walking them back to some concord with the West seems fundamentally flawed to me. That walk-back, I feel needs to be careful, thoughtful and incremental. Moderate Arab states shouldtake the lead, while expressing the benefit of a true, non-economical or military more passive partnership with the West.It also feels like we are assuming a parental role to the Arab “children,” which they certainly would percieve as condescending and insulting. It is a perversion of the militarism that has taken hold of Western and particularly American consciousness, that a war-fighting body would take a role in nation building and diplomacy. That, at the end of all this, I feel strongly, will be a substantial part of the narrative regarding the blunders in Afghanistan and Iraq: too many soldiers and not enough statemen. Peace, my friend, and much thanks again.

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