One way or another our lives are being changed radically, under our noses. But the powers that be don't really want us to know about this.
Police vs Protester: Feds sending armed agents to Chicago three weeks before NATO Summit
May's NATO summit in Chicago is still weeks away, but residents of the Windy City can expect to see armed federal agents patrolling the streets in preparation much sooner than that.
27 April, 2012
Three weeks before international heads of state will converge in Chicago, Illinois for the annual NATO conference, the US Federal Protective Service will send armed officers into the city’s downtown district to prepare for the swarm of protesters expected to arrive in time for the event, slated for May 20 and 21.
Both the NATO and G-8 summits were initially scheduled to occur back-to-back in the major Midwest city, but the meeting between the world’s eight leading economies has since been relocated to Camp David, the fortified presidential retreat in Maryland used as a getaway destination for many of America’s past commanders-in-chief. As of now, however, the NATO summit will take place in Chicago and, citing concerns over how demonstrators may respond, law enforcement is being called in early to size up the city.
Beginning May 1, the Federal Protective Service agents will be in Chicago for “Operation Red Zone.” Although the officers will not necessarily be restricting residents from accessing any public spaces that they are normally permitted to enter, the agents will be patrolling — in complete battle gear.
“Will you see a highly visible police force? Yes,” the FPS’ Cleophas Bradley told federal employees, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. “But we will not be preventing anyone from entering the red zone.”
Bradley adds that the officers on patrol will be outfitted with weapons that can fire off “non-lethal” projectiles, much like the firearm that cracked the skull of war veteran Scott Olsen during an Occupy Wall Street protest in Oakland, California last year.
The Sun-Times explains that the move is meant to ensure that a large section of the metropolis will be safe from unruly mobs during next month’s conference, but not even the city’s own elected officials and leaders were made aware of the agency’s plans to put fully equipped federal cops into town in advance.
“A lot of us were surprised to read that. Obviously, the federal government doesn’t consult with the city when they do this. Everybody was unaware of this,” NATO Host Committee Executive Director Lori Healey tells the Sun-Times.
Even at the top of the city’s political structure, Mayor Rahm Emanuel — a close, personal pal of US President Barack Obama and former White House chief of staff — was allegedly unaware of the government’s game plan.
“This was a security decision and we were not involved,” the mayor’s communications director, Sarah Hamilton, explains to the Sun-Times.
Failure by the Federal department to inform the host city of the security initiative is believed to be a pretty good indicator of what to expect. Although federal agents were assumed to be dispatched to Chicago for the conference, sending armed officers to patrol the city unbeknownst to the town’s own management sends a message that the government is not willing to give local law enforcement a chance to let any incidents upset the NATO Summit.
When the first agents roll into town next week, the Sun-Times say they will begin patrolling a perimeter in Chicago’s downtown “Loop” district that includes the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, the Kluczynski Building, the RH Metcalfe Building and the Metropolitan Correctional Center, as well as a handful of federally owned buildings located on what is called the “State Street cluster.”
The Sun-Times has also published an information sheet that outlines the agenda of “Operation Red Zone,” which includes preserving the peace, minimizing disruption, and protecting government property from damage and destruction. Also included on the list is the item “Ensure protection of individual rights to peacefully assemble and express opinions,” although some who plan on protesting the summit have expressed concern over how their First Amendment rights will be protected. In the state of Illinois, it is illegal to make any audio recording of a law enforcement officer without permission, essentially stripping away the right to film during the event.
Additionally, the recent passage of H.R. 347, the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011 dubbed the “Trespass Bill” by some pundits, will make it a crime to engage “in disorderly or disruptive conduct” or “impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions” during the summit — even if one isn’t aware that they are doing so.Under H.R. 347, any event that the United States Secret Service is assigned to monitor is placed in a category where protesters arrested by the armed security unit could be lobbed with hefty criminal charges.
The Sun-Times adds that, in the event of “civil disobedience,” federal agents will shut down access to the “Red Zone” by putting the Loop in lock-down as authorities attempt to restore order.
“The reality is that FPS deals with protecting federal buildings, so they do have their work cut out for them,” Jeff Cramer of consulting firm Kroll Inc. adds to the paper. “There are a fair amount of federal targets for protesters to make a point with if they wanted.”
Earlier this year, the city issued property owners detailed instructions on how to handle mobs and riots expected for the event.
Virginia lawmakers agree to reject NDAA
Four months after US President Barack Obama authorized the US military to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or trial, lawmakers in Virginia have voted to refuse to abide by by the provision of the NDAA..
27 April, 2012
The Virginia legislature voted this week to approve what looks to be the final version of House Bill 1160, an act that authorizes law enforcement agents within the state to reject the controversial detention provisions that were signed into US law on December 31, 2011 when President Obama inked his name to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA.
B 1160 had previously cleared both the state’s House and Senate, but Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell reportedly refused to sign his name to the bill in its original form. The Tenth Amendment Center reports that Gov. McDonnell wanted to veto the legislation, but that doing so would cost him the support of a large chunk of the state’s liberal voters. As a compromise, Gov. McDonnell added an amendment that is being favored by the bill’s sponsors and it is now expected to go on the books effective July 1.
In a statement from the office of the bill’s author, State Delegate Bob Marshall, the representative writes, “Since the legislation’s passage, [the governor’s] staff has worked with the patron to come up with amendments that will achieve the goal of not supporting unconstitutional detentions while preserving the ability of law enforcement and our state defense forces to carry out their responsibilities. The amendments Governor McDonnell sent down achieve those goals, and Delegate Marshall has expressed his support for them.”
When Virginia State Congressman Bob Marshall introduced HB 1160 earlier this year, he said his proposal stood to shoot down matters authorized by President Obama that he considered unconstitutional.
"They say this law [the NDAA] is designed to fight terrorists,” Marshall told the Tenth Amendment Center in February. “You don't defeat terrorists by adopting their tactics. I will be faithful to my calling to stand against these predators who would sell their birthright for a mess of pottage.”
The particular legislation of SB 1160 says that any state agency, employee or military member does not have to aid an agency of the US Armed Forces “in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a United States citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.” When President Obama signed the NDAA into law on New Year’s Eve, the commander-in-chief authorized the US military to detain alleged terrorists at military facilities indefinitely during times of war.
Because HB 1160 passed the state legislature with the governor’s recommendations, Delegate Marshall’s office reveals that it requires no further authorization and will go into law this summer. Separately, the states of Washington and Utah have also proposed legislation that would also strike down some of the NDAA’s less popular provisions weeks before international heads of state will converge in Chicago, Illinois for the annual NATO conference, the US Federal Protective Service will send armed officers into the city’s downtown district to prepare for the swarm of protesters expected to arrive in time for the event, slated for May 20 and 21.
Both the NATO and G-8 summits were initially scheduled to occur back-to-back in the major Midwest city, but the meeting between the world’s eight leading economies has since been relocated to Camp David, the fortified presidential retreat in Maryland used as a getaway destination for many of America’s past commanders