Rally Against NDAA detention provisions: 10:45am, Kluczynski Federal Building (230 S. Dearborn)
Rally Against SB405: 11:45am, Illinois State Building/Thompson Center (100 W. Randolph)
Occupy Chicago Takes Action Against CME Tax Breaks and Indefinite Detention of Civilians on US Territories
CHICAGO 11/28 – In the midst of $11 billion budget deficit and 10% unemployment rate, the Illinois State Assembly is set to vote on Senate Bill 405 this Tuesday, which offers $250 million in tax breaks to top campaign contributors, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and Sears Holding Corp. Some of these institutions recently received $16 million in discretionary TIF funds.
"The Chicago Mercantile exchange is holding the people of this city and state hostage by threatening to leave if its demands are not met. For too long, jobs, healthcare, and essential services have been cut because politicians have bowed to these kinds of threats made by the richest 1%. Students, teachers, nurses, and transit workers alike must all join together to say that we have had enough,” said David Orlikoff, a Columbia College Chicago student who helped organize this event.
CME has threatened to leave the state if the bill does not go through, even while their new, multimillion dollar electronic trading facility is under construction in Aurora, IL. Sears has made similar threats to leave the state if it fails to get these tax breaks. Questions have been raised as to whether or not the companies could actually make such a move without alienating their customers and paying more in costs than they would stand to gain.
At the same time, the US Congressional Senate is also set to pass Senate Bill S. 1867 by Tuesday of this week, the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Included in this bill is a last minute provision that would authorize worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial power for the military. The implications are that American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield could potentially be held for indefinite military detention, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The bill was drafted in secret by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich) and John McCain (R-Ariz) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without a single hearing.
“For the past decade we have seen ever increasing assaults on our constitutional liberties through underhanded backdoor provisions such as the provisions in section 1031 and 1032 of the NDAA. The recent overt displays of wholly unnecessary militarized responses to civilian protests in the country are a perfect example of why we all should be concerned with any further attempts at domestic militarization,” says Kelvin Ho, one of the Occupy Chicago organizers of today’s events.
Today, Monday November 28th, at 10:45am and 11:45am, Occupy Chicago will stand against these bills with two separate actions at the Federal Kluczynski Building and Thompson Center respectively. These actions are intended to pressure Illinois senators Dick Durbin, Mark Kirk, and Governor Pat Quinn to stop the passage of the two pieces of legislation. Occupy Chicago will be asking Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk to vote in support of the Udall Amendment, an amendment that will delete the harmful provisions of the NDAA and replace them with a requirement of an orderly Congressional review of detention power to ensure that they match up with American values. Likewise, Occupy Chicago will be asking Governor Pat Quinn to veto SB405 as another blatant attempt to provide corporate welfare to wildly successful corporations like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on the backs of the working people of Illinois. The movement is asking on its social media outlets for all supporters to call their state representatives, congressional senate representatives, and governor these two days to do everything they can to stop the passage of these two pieces of legislation.
On another note, Occupy Springfield will also be planning an action tomorrow outside of the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield at 1pm against SB405.
For more information about Occupy Chicago, see OccupyChi.org, follow on Twitter @OccupyChicago or #OccupyChi, or visit facebook.com/OccupyChicago