Tag Archives: WIND

Accused deadbeat Dad Joe Walsh-fired Illinois Representative- declares war on small businesses and families over conceal carry laws. Calls on fellow pro-gun hysterics to boycott small businesses in towns crafting any gun legislation. Takes a big man to bully mom and pop businesses, especially in this economy. I guess old Joe secure in holding his small hard… gun in public is more important than these people. can’t imagine why he wasn’t re-elected? Tells audience to shop in wealthy Lake Forest instead. Sounds like tired old Joe is for sale, or just needs attention. Does anyone know if and how much the NRA or Illinois Rifle Association might be paying him to sell guns in Illinois? Not saying I have direct proof he’s gettin’ paid. Just asking an innocent question.

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The Chicago Teachers Protest Rant: Warning, adult language

I won’t even bother to challege any of these WIND right-wing talk radio whores to a debate. They always chicken out. I have challenged personally, Glen Beck, Michael Medved and Dennis Prager to a debate on the issues, on any issues, but they refuse to accept the challenge. The same challenge is levied upon Steve Cochran, Jon Howell and losing representative, Joe Walsh(I make the offer because I’m a gentleman, but I have a hunch your both little more than fake radio bullies).

So during the protest yesterday, in which between 4 and 6 thousand turned out in response to the proposed closing of 51 schools, the loss of thousands of jobs in already critical neighborhoods and the upheaval of thousands of kids and their families, WIND’s host apparently couldn’t find a suitable argument, so he dusted off the regular right-wing dirge. he blasted the teacher’s union and protesters for disrupting traffic, because we all know traffic is far more important than education and children. How dare they interrupt the national priority of buying and selling widgets. We need widgets, god dammit, and the constitution can go to hell as long as there is a buck to be pimped. Nevermind that the future of widgets, and the next revolutionary design in widgets comes from the students in these schools!

But Cochran, a pork loin in urban cowboys boots, a fake tough guy who wouldn’t leave his house without having the nipple on a gun to suckle from, is part of what is wrong with the media in general. There are too many paunchy white guys who fellate guns and the bible to a dim audience of tell-me-what-to-think-bots as a means to confirm their bigoted obsequiesness.

Cochran, who can’t let anyone forget he was an extra on some forgettable b-movie from the low Nineties let a caller get in a joke about CTU president Karen Lewis’ weight, with a knowing chuckle and a pretense at surprise. It wasn’t. There is an unwritten rule in talk radio-let the caller make the point you can’t. Teasing today’s show, Mr. Pork Loin made a comment about Lewis’s weight again, because that’s how Righties tackle issues-though he’s likely just a hired self-serving whore-oh, wait, that is the definition of the Right-wing media these days. They are bullies, pure and simple, and sadly people tend to side with a bully…for a while. News flash, it doesn’t look like Cochran has been missing many meals. Looks like he’s getting the normal 7-8 per day.

Same for his pontificating morning masturbator for tough-guy politic, John Howell, who dragged out the don’t tie up traffic cliche this morning. Howell, the divorced guy who defends “traditional” marriage, like Cochran, and the can’t-pay-my-child-support, dis-elected Rep. Joe Walsh, all talked about how the schools are broke.

“A school system that’s a mess,” blathered Cochran, “it’s broke, it’s running a billion dollar deficit this year.”

But the morning hypocrit Howell, tied together all three of the blowhard’s message assignment, per their corporate string-pullers, revealing that what’s needed is school choice, vouchers and charter schools. And there is the key. This is not about the children. Racist gum-beater Walsh, whose own Youtube exposed mouth ran him out of office couldn’t care less about the black, poor and minority children soon to be dispossessed.This is about moving education over to the corporate controlled world, in which they can be fed exactly what the corporate Right wants them to believe. It won’t be about education, but about servitude for the poor kids and advantage for the wealthy.

But here is the lie they either are too self-proselytizing to care about or don’t want you to know. The schools, unlike what Cochran and Howell regurgitate over their deeply jaundiced airwaves, are not broke, they’ve been robbed! Tax Increment Financing sprang up around the city, and now siphons hundreds of millions in property taxes that would normally go to schools. Controlled without oversight by the Mayor, these TIFs are they are called go to fund pet projects and rich corporations. They were intended to revitalize blighted neighborhoods, and encourage local business to bolster taxes bases and offer local jobs. The Chicago Board of Trade is hardly blighted territory. A gourmet food store in Greek Town? Target and Jewel? Hyatt next to McCormick Place? really? REALLY?

That money could save the schools slated for closing. But again, it isn’t really about education. It isn’t even about kids going to privately and corporately owned schools(will we eventually have team names like the southside “Citibanks,” the westside “Starbucks,” and the Evanston “Olive Gardens” football league?). It is about control. It is about who controls the economy, the wealth and the message, and the Right has always pushed that in ways both sneaky and obvious. On WIND they do it with three fake tough-guy slags.

Will they respond or debate me? No way! I am the Leftie that scares the crap out of equivocating frauds. I had guns, hunted, I’m a FOID card holder, I’ve been to war, have a stable marriage without fearing the gays, a white guy who believes it is high time to take a step down in favor of the necessary voices of women, minorities, other genders and the environment. Most alarming of all, I tell the god-damned truth, which the right can no longer find in their crippled souls. So bring it on boys. I am waiting.

Catch 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray each Sunday 8-9am only on Our Town with Mike Sanders, at Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT AM and FM, and streaming online. Our Town is sponsored by HORA USA, at http://www.HORAusa.com. HORA is an evolutionary meditative practice for the whole body and mind. Take the next step in your personal evolution at http://www.HORAusa.com.

Friend us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer. And if you have a cause to champion, please let us know as we work to become the grassroots support network for Chicago Activists and community organizers.

Catch the beer of the week review with 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray each Sunday 8-9am only on Our Town, at Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT AM and FM, and streaming online. And check out the weekly food pairings for our featured beers with innovative and original dishes by Chef AJ Francisco. Friend us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer. And find all of the great beers we review each week at Louis Glunz Beer Inc., http://www.glunzbeers.com

Civilization is Fragile: Our story on the collapse of all things good…

I was listening to Glen Beck the other day. One of his sponsors is for some food insurance company. I used to think it was bullshit. There’s a local talk guy, Jon Howell, who talks about the collapse of society in this Ayn Rand-ian sort of way in which those with the guns, and those who are not burdened by ethics or compassion for their fellow human being will be the ones who pervail when the apocalypse comes.

The debate over guns, the substantial threat from North Korea to shut down the power grid with a nuclear detonation in space, and Barack Obama have enlived their doomsday fantasies. I mocked them. having actually lived in a society, a city under siege, in which there was no food, water, gas or electricity, in which you could be killed without warning from a sniper, blackmarketeer, warlord or a waterborne illness, and yet people did not become self-directed zombie-like ne’r-do-wells, but worked together and strengthened communal bonds. But when the plumber shut off our water yesterday to install a new water heater, well, all of that changed.

At percisely, I’ll always remember where I was at that moment, at precisely 12:05, the water was shut off to our little condo. At first we didn’t notice much, but then, slowly and imperceptibly, things began to unravel. It began within a half an hour. Ana asked for a glass of water. The first crack had appeared.

By 12:20 I had to face some tough truths. Ana’s thirst indicated that she might not be strong enough to carry on. How long could she hold out? I was thawing chicken for supper, but should I set that other plate? Would or could both of us survive, or should I start coming to terms with stark and unavoidable truths?

“Can you do me a favor,” she asked, “just go up to McDonald’s and get me something to drink.”

There it was, the Lord of the Flies! The power play. Survival of the fittest. John Locke and Ayn Rand, and Rand Paul and Ron Paul were right all along. The relationship, the love Ana and I had cultivated these many years was crumbling before us, and we were helpless in the face of animal desperation.

I was trapped, struggling as much with myself as the lonely howling from the pipes that sang the demise of the civilation I held so dear. Still Ana pressed for something to drink. I felt as the very edge of existence, alone. I dreamt of water, cool, refreshing, but it was no more than a distant fantasy.

“You know what would be good?” Ana commanded. “Be a dear and run down to that place on the corner for some Pad Thai, since the stove is shut off too.”

The stove, indeed! The second pillar of civilization was gone. First the water, now the stove. I eyed the cats, luxuriating at their dish and thought that I could sustain myself through the darkness on cans of Friskies if needed. There was a squirrel in the yard, fattened by the bread I’d vainly and short-sightedly tossed out through the winter. I curse myself for not buying an AR-15 after New Town and converting it to a fully automatic assault rifle with a 40 round clip. I’d need it to battle back the hordes, and squirrels are small and move fast. I’d probably need a whole clip to bring the critter down.

By 1:30 my deoderant was failing. I was reverting to an animal, and smelled like one too. Ana mentioned that I needed a shower. The knives had come out. It was now every person for themselves. I was straining at the tension, which was driving me mad. Oh, Glen Beck and Gold Line, curse you that I should have listened to you sooner! As civilization crumbled around me, what I wouldn’t have given for a fist full of gold plated cugurands.

By 3 I was at the breaking point. Ana, sitting on the bed, tickering with a Facebook post appearing unmoved and unaffected. Who was she? Some sort of super woman, or was she toying with me? Maybe she was the strongest, and I would succumb first. Maybe in the days or weeks to come, upon those smouldering remnants of the world, she would be feasting upon my b…”

“Well, that’s about it,” said the plumber. “She’s in and your water’s up and running again. I’ll just take a check and be on my way.”

Oh, salvation, how bittersweet civilization! So perfect and yet so fragile that you can porvide us the grand illusion, only to reveal your mortality as well. I embrace you now more fully, knowing only too well what a commodity and rarity you are. Just in case, I’m keeping a can of Friskies in my pocket.

Catch 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray each Sunday 8-9am only on Our Town with Mike Sanders, at Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT AM and FM, and streaming online. Our Town is sponsored by HORA USA, at http://www.HORAusa.com. HORA is an evolutionary meditative practice for the whole body and mind. Take the next step in your personal evolution at http://www.HORAusa.com.

Friend us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer. And if you have a cause to champion, please let us know as we work to become the grassroots support network for Chicago Activists and community organizers.

Catch the beer of the week review with 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray each Sunday 8-9am only on Our Town, at Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT AM and FM, and streaming online. Friend us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer. And find all of the great beers we review each week at Louis Glunz Beer Inc., http://www.glunzbeers.com

I Really did not want to write this…thoughts on Rightwing reaction to the Colorado Theater shooting

I have strong opinions about guns. Though I believe the 2nd amendment is fairly antiquated-I’m not in favor of repeal, and I do acknowledge the utility of some guns- clearly the supreme obsession for purely political and money reasons by gun zealots, paranoid Righties terrified of every shadow and the national Rifle Association is both perverse and psychotic. I grew up around guns. I know to use them safely and sanely, but responsibility for  a tool capable of quickly and all too easily in the hands of unstable persons dispensing a terrific amount of brutality requires oversight, responsibility and limits. The problem is that the NRA, to maintain gun sales in the nation-supported by Wal-Mart, the largest gun seller in the nation, assails any hint of limitations or oversight regarding guns. Any.

There is no such fervor when it comes to dissent against corporate interference and corruption with our government, or dissent against banks and their abuse of the economy, our money and the avalanche of illegal foreclosures. Those who occupied streets, sidewalks in front of banks, or parks to redress the government, as prescribed by the constitution, from an amendment the founding fathers believed so important they put it first-that’s first-those people were called hippies, smelly, communists. There was no cry from the masturbatory gun crowd or the NRA about unconstitutional ordinances limiting, curtailing or destroying the First Amendment utterly.

The reason…the Right doesn’t dissent, because they reflect the status quo, the force and weight of the nation resistant to change, such as Women’s Right to vote, Labor rights, or Civil Rights, those things that challenge and upset the status quo.

But the reason for this piece is to call attention to the Rightwing talk shows, which dominate almost entirely the media. WIND and WLS, the Rightwing, or better, the sociopathic radio stations in Chicago began assaulting the President even before he spoke on the shooting, accusing and projecting his potential politicizing of the event. They did this in typical, chuckling and smarmy fashion, throwing oblique insults at Muslims.

Mark Stein, in for Rush Limbaugh called the President’s decision not to politicize the tragedy by cancelling campaign events and pulling ads was in itself a political act. Glen Beck was much the same. Constantly the audience was reminded about Muslim terrorists as the Right, in typically nakedly racist fashion, desperately tried to divert insinuations on the violent tendency of white, and how most of these mass public shootings in America are perpetrated mostly by white men.

Maybe its time to start profiling all white men?

I’m not calling for legislation, and certainly not a governmental censorship on speech, no matter how inane, perverse or sociopathic in this nation, which the Right has become completely with their stranglehold on the media. What I am calling for is that good people stand up and tell this destructive and corrosive fools to shut the $#@%up! Call their radio and television stations. Flood and bury their phone lines, clog and overwhelm their emails, accuse and deride them at the mall, the gas station and bank. This isn’t a game they get to play on the radio, by pissing into our nationl discourse. There are consequences to their actions and words, as they constantly remind the Left. Those consequences should be the din of outrage that drives them from their potty pulpit into obscurity and shame.

We the reasonable and moral people of this nation, those on the sane and moderate Right, the Left and the vast majority in the middle need now to stand up, speak up and shut them down!

21 Days in May: an Occupy novella, the final post

Sunday, May 28th, 9:35pm. It came about at the last-minute, a slapped together fundraiser on a sweltering night for several of those arrested at the NATO protest melee. There were others who were facing felony charges, one for stabbing a police officer in the leg. Like any fight, there was plenty for each side to be ashamed of, and to accuse the otherside for. But that night, at Cary’s Lounge on Devon Avenue, there was irony in that this all had an almost jovial sense, almost as if there was some odd sense of relief that it was finally over.

Outside, the street was crowded in this mostly Middleeastern and Indian neighborhood. Traffic was bumper to bumper, like one might expect a holiday weekend to be in say, Dehli or Lahore. Those immigrant faces gathered in groups along the street, joined in conversation, or walked as families and friends. Usmania, the restaurant across the street was packed with diners, as was the cheaper “peasant” middle eastern diner, Gahreeb Nawaz, up the street. next door to Cary’s, shoppers crowded at the counter of a Halal Muslim meat market, their forms blended beneath pale yellow lights and the dust and city grime of the windows. 

Monday after the protest, several hundred marched on Boeing headquarters downtown, several dozen covering themselves in oil for a ceremonial die-in on the street in front of the building. Police nearly outnumbered the protesters. Hardly testimony to the state of the movement as much as many of those from outside the city had gone home as the NATO summit ended. Remaining were the core activists of the movement. The downtown was all but deserted that day. The media had  done its job properly enough that most people stayed home and worked for fear of the violence the news people had hyped for weeks.

That morning Jack awakened in his own bed after a fitful sleep. He was staring at the ceiling,  a torrent of emotions raging in his heart. Eva was asleep beside him, a place he’d realized that he’d taken for granted far too much. Jeffrey was asleep in his arms. The boy had erupted in a scream the night before when Jack walked in, as if it was Christmas. Jack had called is boss at home just before midnight trying in some way to explain all this. She stopped him, and said there was nothing to explain, and that if he needed a few days to sort things out that his job was still there.

All that mattered now was that he was home. All Jack Murphy cared about was that he was with Jeffrey and Eva once more. Everything else would sort itself out. He had to believe that.

Lost amid news of the presidential campaign, the JP Morgan losses, the deaths of singer Donna Summer and Robin Gibb, and police superintendent Garry McCarthy’s media blitz about the overwhelming success of  his police in protecting the good citizens of Chicago, was any real news about what had happened behind those closed doors at the NATO summit. Tens and hundreds of billions would be bartered and gifted away without consideration or necessary oversite, while there would continue the call from the Right, acquiesced to by the Left, for more cuts to social programs, education, healthcare and pensions. There was hardly a mention that Congressman Joe Rand would be stepping down due to “health reasons.” There was nothing about Koffer Industries, only the usual blustering by Left-wing hosts who used the Koffers the way Glen beck used Saul Alinsky, except one championed the poor and oppressed, and the others created poverty and promoted oppression.

No charges had been filed, and none were pending. The same went for Ryan Carrera and the two hired snipers. All of them disappeared within the nation’s very same intelligence infrastructure from whence they came. The licenses of the car dealership in Berwyn were pulled by midweek, and the place was abandoned by Friday. The six Indiana men were allowed to plea bargain away the weapons charges, three of them getting sixty days for marijuana found on the farm, the others receiving probation and fines.

As for the police, the city had pressed them into service as virtual slave labor. They’d been fooled into believing the city of Chicago and Mayor Emanuel would honor the contracts. Now they were refusing to pay the overtime and accrued time off prescribed. Occupy Chicago had warned of this very thing. There is always money for war, always money for corporations and always money for banks. The police had accepted the propaganda that Occupy were a bunch of  communist hippies. But the police were a part of that much touted 99%. As the dust settled in the wake of NATO they might have believed they were standing on the wrong side of that protest line. The one percent had used them and then slammed the door in their face.

 There was a decent crowd at Carey’s Lounge that evening. Andy Thayer, who’d led the protest, stocking his ranks with Occupy Chicago, was established now as something of its leader, something Occupy had long eschewed. To say the protest hadn’t changed Occupy would not have been accurate. It had lost something of itself. All America had lost something of itself that Sunday. Beside him was now the defacto leadership of the movement, supplanting true social activism for something akin to personal vendetta against the authorities. It was valid to a point, but different from what the movement had forged itself into the previous Autumn. Hardly had it accomplished anything during the protests, but the forces arrayed against it were awesome and unprecedented, a coordination between government propaganda and corporate messaging that Joseph Goebbels might only have fantasized about.

The corporate media had no interest in validating the NATO protests. From the beginning, there was an effort to skew the coverage fully in terms of potential violence. They succeeded fully in overwhelming the demands for peace and transparency from the protesters. What little coverage the activists received was mocking, condescending or purposely framed them as confused and unfocused in their ultimate message.

It wasn’t a Left or Right issue. The Left abandoned Occupy just as surely when they realized the movement couldn’t be co-opted into a defacto vote factory that the Democrats could use and bank upon. With the presidential election barely six months away, the Democrats could not afford a true grassroots movement from of and for the people to rob them of badly needed votes. Add to that the undeniable fact that the leadership of the Democratic party was every bit as beholden to corporate interests and big money as the Republicans. Their pandering to progressive positions was simply a marketing strategy.

The headline in Tuesday morning’s Chicago Tribune read: CROWDS TRAPPED AT EVERY TURN, a reference to the police effort to contain and marginalize the anti-NATO protesters. What a wonderful message of the state of American democracy. What a beautiful message to send to future generations. What did the country believe that would ultimately mean for its future?

Beside Andy Thayer was one of those arrested in Bridgeport on the so-called terrorism charges. Before the sixty or so gathered in the bar, he recounted being taken not to jail but to a “black site,” where he’d been cuffed to a wall for twelve hours without water and without being allowed to use the bathroom. Beside him, a girl named Zoe, who’d been living in that apartment until that night.

“I got a call that night that said, ‘don’t come home.’ I haven’t been home since. I can tell you that the charges are bullshit. These were all really good guys, but they got their demons that helped to justify the sixty million spent on NATO security.”

Jack was at the back of the bar, just behind a couple of guys playing a serious game of eight ball. He was nursing a beer.

“We’ve raised almost two thousand dollars,” said Thayer from the crowded little stage in the front window, his muscular form silhouetted by neon beer signs in the window. “Please help us with whatever you can. And again, thank you for all coming out, and thanks again to The Exponential for coming out at the last-minute to play for us tonight.

That was Jack’s cue. He stood up and followed the three other members of the group through the crowded tavern to the stage. Sitting down behind his drum kit, Jack realized there was little justice to be found in all of this. Someone joked from the bar, a guy who’d seen his share of protests back to the 1968 Democratic convention, “What do you mean the revolution won’t be televised?”

Jack smiled thoughtfully. He thought of Deacon and Eva, Jeffrey, Blaze, Rebel Rose and all those who lifted their phones and pointed them at the police as they closed in around him. He might have abandoned all of this after coming so close to losing everything. He might have abandoned Occupy, given his criticisms.  Instead, he found community and cause to hope that there were indeed people who cared, and despite the wall of noise the mainstream media proliferated,  somehow they managed to find the true.

“No, it won’t be televised,” he said to himself, “but it will be digitized.”

21 Days in May: an occupy Novella, part twenty-nine

4:20 pm

Rose had slipped off the median to a small pocket between the wall and the curb when the battle began. Blaze was over her, taking the worst of things as he did his best to shield her. All around the street was a madhouse. Few held any illusions that the police held any sympathy for their cause, but many could not fathom that the police actually intended harm, and that some even seemed to take some pleasure in it. From where he stood, knocked and shoved by the panicking demonstrators, or fighting to maintain that beleaguered working space for Rose, he was certain that it was already too late for Jack and Eva.

“What are you doing down there!” he complained impatiently, almost drown by the din of the growing riot.

“Shut up!” she fired back. “It uploaded. It should freakin’ work!”

Eva fought her way towards that line of police, the place she’d last seen Jack and Angelo. Two Black Bloc members went by, retreating into the heart of the crowd. One of them was bleeding from a gash the forehead. She was nearly to the line of police when she spotted Jack and Angelo. They were struggling. Angelo, the stronger of the two, and trained in combat had the better hand, but was hampered by the fleeing protesters around and behind him.

“Enough!” Jack strained against Angelo. “Stop this!”

Angelo had to get him close to the police, or at least close enough that he could reveal to them the gun in Jack’s backpack, but he had to do it without drawing too much attention to himself, or ruining his chances for escaping back among the protesters. As the line of officers pressed forward, at the very least, all that he had to do was hold Jack there.

Suddenly Eva was there beside them, taking Angelo arm, fighting to pull him away from Jack. Angelo let go of Jack just long enough to through her back, where she tripped and fell, now fighting to keep from being trampled.

For just a moment, Jack, free of Angelo, thought of the gun. Seeing Angelo toss her away where she disappeared somewhere beneath the impossible crush of bodies filled him with a primitive white-hot rage. He might have exploded. He might have given into that vengeful, thoroughly human and purely selfish hypocrisy of “an eye for an eye.” He thought of Jeffrey, and all the lofty and progressive ideals he’d always espoused. Angelo grabbed him again. Jack’s attention was on the place he’d seen Eva go down, the place where she’d disappeared fully to now. His face was torn by that anguish. Jack cried out.


 Eva was in the fight of her life now. The press and power of thousands kept her from finding her feet. She was losing the fight, trampled now as the crush and fear only increased, rising to unimaginable heights. She was helpless in the face of that. Knocked to one side, several fleeing demonstrators stepped on her side, driving the wind from her lungs. Eva gasped for breath and wondered if she was about to die on that street. In her hand the phone and the last hope she had for saving Jack. Eva held tight to it, and would until the very end. She thought of her son and her family, and all those who had so cynically sought to destroy that beautiful island of peace and love. One thought that ran again and again through her mind: How could they…how could they…

Suddenly a massive hand wrapped around her arm. The power of that grip seemed heaven-sent, tearing her from the street and lifting her almost effortlessly to her feet, as unsteady and uncertain as that was for the moment.

She looked up into the big Black man’s saving eyes as if he was some sort of angel. They were eyes filled with the pained and simple wisdom of a man who’d lived a hard life. She wanted to cry. He touched her face.

“You must be Eva,” said the man. “I’m Deacon. You must be Eva. He talked about you all the time.”

“How did you…?”

“I seen that guy shove you down.”

She looked back to Angelo and Jack, now in a life and death hold. The line of riot police was almost upon them.

“Let’s go save your boy,” Deacon said as calmly as if they were walking across a park. Indeed, with his size and power, Deacon cleaved a way through the tangle of bodies straight to the pair. Jack hadn’t seen them at first. From the corner of his eye he noticed Deacon, now looming just behind Angelo. He took his defiant gaze from Angelo’s, feeling suddenly rescued at the sight. Close behind Deacon was Eva. Jack nearly cried out. Instead, with all that brought a renewed resolve and strength.

“Move Back!” The police line closed on the group. Angelo hesitated; long enough to be sure there would be no chance for Jack to escape arrest. At that instant Eva’s phone trembled in her hand.

“Move back, or you will be arrested!” shouted a police sergeant, from just behind the rank of riot police now upon Jack and the others.

But there was nowhere to go. At several places the police lines had trapped hundreds of demonstrators and journalists alike, crushing them against store windows that threatened to give way. If they did scores would be injured or worse. Shouts rose in unison against the onslaught, begging for relief. Realizing the danger, the police lines relented, retreating slightly to relieve the imminent pressure.

A police man grabbed at Jack. More hands reached for Angelo, but he dodged them, meeting one of the officer’s eyes.

“This man has a weapon!”

The reaction was immediate. Several of the officers seized Jack, the line now almost fully closed on the foursome. Angelo turned to escape, and instead ran head long into Deacon. Beside them Eva’s eyes widened as her phone came to life. It was the video she’d shot of Congressman Rand.

Meanwhile, several Black Bloc members, seeing that the police had seized Jack pushed towards them, intent on rescuing anyone facing arrest. Eva saw them and pointed her phone in their direction.

“Phones!” she cried. “Raise your phones! Everyone!”

At first there were only a few, then a dozen, including the Black Bloc, then dozens. Around the protest the battle continued unabated, but in that little pocket, everything came to a sudden halt. The sergeant pushed forward, shouting for his men and women to pause. A lieutenant, and then another appeared, both of them were looking at their own phones in disbelief.    

HOLMAN: … your connection to Ryan Carrera, Tom Koffer and a Berwyn car dealership that confirmed Carrera purchased three vehicles that are to be delivered tomorrow to a street gang to be filled with weapons and explosives to discredit the Occupy movement.

RAND:  … I am a sitting US fucking congressman…

HOLMAN: I have all the pieces, including your role in possible weapons charges, organized crime, conspiracy.

RAND: You want the truth? The truth is I meant to stop this Occupation bullshit dead in its tracks.

EVA: The Legislation.

RAND: And you, big cop, while your fellow officers are being insulted and spit on by those scum, what are you doing? You think you can bring me down? I’ll crush you. You’ll see, when the police find car loads of guns with your husband’s name all over the title, the face book postings, all of it was beautiful. No offense lady, but you have to crack some eggs to make an omelet. You and him are small sacrifices to save this country for the people who made it great.

EVA: Rich white guys?

RAND: Damn fucking right, rich white guys. But there’s nothing you can do. It’s all set, and tomorrow the hammer comes down on Occupy. Monday morning I’m in Washington with a bill branding them as domestic terrorists, and calling for anyone associated or affiliated will be treated like a criminal. How’s that. Tom Koffer won’t talk. And the others, after tomorrow, they will be ghosts. Satisfied?

Tears flooded into Eva’s eyes. She wished she knew where Blaze and Rose were in all of this. From those up raised tones the video ended with a chorus of tones, signifying that links to the already posted YouTube video’s of Rand’s ad hoc confession had been texted to each phone, available for the whole world to see.

One of the police lieutenant’s came forward. His men now had both Angelo and Jack. Both were already in handcuffs. “Are you Jack Murphy?”

“Yes sir.” Jack nodded, throwing a glance to Eva.

“Ryan Carrera?” he said to Angelo, who looked away without reply.

“Lieutenant,” said one of the officers. Both suspects had a weapon.

The lieutenant’s jaw stiffened a bit. He held no particular love for the Occupy movement, but he was a man of fairness, and his share of wisdom.

  “I’ll take them. I think we’ll find that both of them belong to Mister Carrera.” He took the two backpacks from the officer, testing their weight in his hand. He looked up at Angelo. He already knew something of the man after all that Dan Holman had given them earlier. A Vietnam veteran, Angelo’s absolute betrayal of his nation struck him deeply.

“Ryan Carrera,” he continued,  “you are under arrest for conspiracy, intent to commit fraud, attempted murder, and that’s just for starters.” He nodded to the two officers holding him. “Take him out of here.”

“What about Jack?” Eva almost pleaded.

The officer nodded. “It’s all right. We know he was set up. Why don’t you both come along.”

Around them the drama continued, and would last into the evening. In pockets there were fights, in others tense standoffs with protesters and police eye to eye, but in most places all those citizen activists, all those who believed in a better world, those thousands who shouted despite a corporate media refusing to carry their message honestly, they would depart peacefully enough. They were already part of that better world, and unwilling to descend to the escalated violence of the corporate power structure seizing control of the nation and world, but there could be no doubt who the true enemy was.

21 Days in May: an Occupy novella, party twenty-eight

3:15 pm

“There’s fucking cops dressed as protesters in the crowd!” Blaze heard one of the Black Bloc guys exclaim from where he sat beneath a tree in the median. Hardly twenty, the Black Bloc guy wore the ubiquitous baggy black clothes and a paint spattered pair of worn combat boots. Wavy, sandy-blond hair tumbled from beneath a plastic “V for Vendetta” mask. He was tall and sinewy, his body squared a bit by a homemade body protector beneath a baggy black tee-shirt. A red and white checkerboard bandana covered the bottom half of his face. Ski goggles dangled at his neck. In a backpack over one shoulder he carried a bottle of vinegar and a large bottle of water, both needed to counteract chemical agents like pepper spray and tear gas.

“I just saw two cops change clothes,” he continued, “and enter the protest with a couple of bricks.”

“Lock arms!” someone shouted, as better than fifty demonstrators formed something of a wall. Behind them, the Black Bloc people, perhaps no more that a dozen or fifteen, hardly the army of despots the media frightened the public over, collected as a tight group, crouched or sitting on the ground to prevent any immediate infiltration. Nearby, the taunting and teasing of a line of riot police grew with the mounting tensions. It was far less than the media and police spokespersons would later claim. Most of the banter from demonstrators were reminders that they too were working class, and that their livelihoods and families were just as threatened. Not that any of that fell on deaf or indifferent ears, but rather upon ears that were steeped in propaganda and an us-versus-the-world mindset, or who were caught in an impossible situation somewhere between their immediate livelihoods and that of a dictatorial system slowing strangling their future.

On Michigan, two blocks south of the stage better than a hundred State Police climbed out of three greyhound buses. They were far more aggressive than their Chicago counterparts, and eager for a fight. They held two dogs against the protesters, drawing ranks against the still peaceful demonstrators, allowing no one to leave. They purposely agitated the dogs, seeming to enjoy the fear it instilled against students, grandparents, journalists and parents with children. Not content with their police-issue batons, some of the State Police sported longer, thicker sticks, capable of inflicted far more damage and much more pain. For one Hungarian woman, it brought back recollections of the Soviet occupation when she was a child.

Amid all of this, Blaze and Rebel Rose sat on the ground cross-legged and leaning against one another back to back. Their laptops were open. Both of them were working furiously on different pieces of the same project. Quite purposely the pair had inserted themselves between a television camera crew and a French reporter live-streaming the protest

He and Rose were furiously trying to upload into the various available connection networks the video Eva and her uncle had of Congressman Rand. He wasn’t having any luck, and something told him it wouldn’t work. Blaze also understood that if it didn’t Jack stood little chance at all.

Eva was somewhere in the crowd, pushing through the crush of thousands of bodies, the upraised arms, fingers risen in peace signs or holding camera phones and cameras. It felt to her like fighting her way through a pulsing, moving forest. She was looking for Jack, wanting to be with him when Blaze and Rose uploaded the video to thousands of phones  at once. But it seemed utterly hopeless. She checked her phone. It was almost four, and almost time for the upload. Beside the stage a line of mounted police drew tighter ranks and edged towards the crowd. She pressed on, pleading with people, begging forgiveness as  she pushed through the reluctant and at times unyielding bodies. And now there was something new. The tension and tempo of the moment built towards a violent crescendo. It whipped through the thousands of demonstrators like a virus. They were being trapped, surrounded and enclosed from all sides.

Angelo waited for the right moment. He waited for the predictable chaos to follow when he could expose Jack and slip away into the confusion. Behind them a double rank of riot police marched into the heart of the demonstrators. West of the intersection, the cerulean police riots helmets fully outnumbered civilians. On command the police moved in, without provocation, without reason, and for no other purpose than to punish those who stood from freedom against the emerging police state of America, and to crush the inclination to challenge the decided authority of the nation. These officers, by purpose or circumstance had abandoned their individual oaths, pressing forcefully against fellow citizens as mindless automatons to their bartered government.

“Move back! Move back! Move back!” the ranks of riot police repeated mechanically again and again, holding their batons out and pushing against the trapped demonstrators.

Now the opposing sides were face to face, squared off in places, cornered and terrified in  most others. Still the police pressure continued, their lines inching forward, compelling emotions, stoking anger, inciting the trapped. Within the steadily shrinking pocket some pleaded, others accused, still others, like the Black Bloc rose to  stand against this tyranny, and when there was nowhere else to go, when they were crushed together, the demonstrators pushed back.

It was the trigger the police had been waiting for, for which they fully anticipated, and which they plainly and purposely provoked. A roar swept through the demonstrators, a chorus of fear and anger and defiance. In small pockets fists were thrown against swinging batons.

The melee still had not erupted full force when Eva spotted Jack not twenty yards away. A line of police pressed towards him steadily. Behind Jack, Angelo shoved him forward, straight  at the police. She checked her phone and strained across the wild mass of humanity to the place she’d left Blaze and Rebel Rose. They were late, her phone silent. She had a sinking feeling that it was too late. When she looked again to Jack and Angelo,,,they were gone.


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