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

This piece was originally posted May 19th, 2012

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state complicit in fabricating pure fiction from the fertile ground of lazy and unquestioning minds, until belief superseded truth and reason and skepticism?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 day in the Chicago Tribune screamed that difference:

Bridgeport arrests: Molotov cocktails or brewing equipment?
By Rosemary R. Sobol, Jeremy Gorner and Todd Lighty Tribune 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…

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I am Afraid to Write This

I should not be afraid to write about anything in the United States. I have never been afraid before to write of anything in this country. I was less afraid to talk about atrocities committed by Serbs in Belgrade during the Miloshevich regime. I was less afraid at interviewing someone connected with Islamic terrorism, who had been part a plot to assassinate a foreign official and who possible was part of the plot to bomb the pope in the 1990s. I am afraid my fellow Americans, Chicago neighbors who wear a badge will retaliate against my family or neighbors. America you have turned a dark and terrible corner.

On Google Maps, the innocuous looking red brick warehouse at 1011South Homan, just off the Eisenhower Expressway, between Kedzie and Central is listed as “Chicago Police Department Prostitution.” I could make a joke about the law enforcement apparatus in this nation has prostituted itself to power and money interests. I could say that I am reminded that they have become Kapos, the Jewish guards within concentration camps who ultimately oversaw their own demise as well. Too harsh? Revelations that Chicago has operated a black prison site, where torture is reported to have occurred should be national headlines. Locally, a co-opted and corporatized Press has all but dismissed the story. Interesting that when this story came out it was eclipsed by a sensational and likely erroneous report about terrorists threats to shopping malls.

In fact, that local Press, like Tribune columnist and WLS morning host’s John Kass and former news reporter Lauren Cohn seemed to support the use of torture and the flagrant violation of constitutionally protected civil liberties. Speak with an attorney on their program, Wednesday, Kass was flippant about allegations and witness testimony regarding the site, in which at least one detainee died, remarking that “if you through a Molotov cocktail or even talk about it to an undercover police officer, bad things are gonna happen.”

Kass was referring to the so-called NATO 5, arrested during a controversial raid and accused of plotting to make Molotov cocktails during the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago. There were clear issues of entrapment and incitement by undercover police officers. The trials were held in virtual secret, with witnesses harassed and in some cases banned arbitrarily from the proceedings. All of them were processed, or “disappeared” through the Homan facility. Analysts believe that the trials were kept at a local level, initial charges of terrorism dropped, to avoid scrutiny of civil liberties violations. Two of the five were later released without charge. Brian Church was released in November 2014, calling into question the seriousness of the charges alleged by the police..

‘You’re going to get a tour of hell inside Homan’

Victoria Suter, a protester at the massive anti-NATO summit protest was apparently targeted as an organizer within the protest. She was arrested, and after hours of interrogation, and many more hours of detention without the benefit of a phone call, an attorney, availability to use the bathroom or even to have charges filed. Suter was released later the next day without any charges being filed.

“The stark difference between Homan and a county jail or a precinct that has holding cells or any other concept of a common jail that most Americans have is that you have no rights at Homan,” Suter told the Guardian.

The co-called Miranda Warning, or Miranda Rights are basic constitutional rights afforded pursuant to the bill of rights, and the amendments, specifically the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments to the constitution with regards to an attorney, self incrimination, search and seizure, and to have their attorney present. The Miranda Warning has been upheld by the Supreme Court on numerous occasions, Vic Suter held for more than 18 hours without being charged and without being afforded. The Supreme Court decided in 1984 that police must, regardless of the severity or nature of a charge, be afforded their Miranda Rights. Law enforcement and the government continues assail those rights which state:

1. they have the right to remain silent;
2. anything the suspect does say can and may be used against them in a court of law;
3. they have the right to have an attorney present before and during the questioning; and
4. they have the right, if they cannot afford the services of an attorney, to have one appointed, at public expense and without cost to them, to represent them before and during the questioning.

The Chicago Police Department, which clearly violated those rights responded to the Guardian, who broke the story by saying that it “abides by all laws, rules and guidelines pertaining to any interviews of suspects or witnesses, at Homan Square or any other CPD facility. If lawyers have a client detained at Homan Square, just like any other facility, they are allowed to speak to and visit them.”

However, attorneys and detainees all report that the later is absolutely not the case. Attorneys are often turned away, or told their clients are not there, when in fact it later turns out that they were. Moreover, this speaks to a systemic abuse that may lead to the mayor’s office. Mayor Emmanuel routinely used the CPD as a bludgeon tool against dissent, u sing heavy-handed tactics against the Occupy Movement, NATO protesters, teachers and the teacher’s union and anti-ALEC protesters. ALEC, or the American legislative Exchange Council is a Koch Brothers driven effort by corporations to create, write and pass pro-corporate legislation. In 2013 ALEC’s annual summit was held in Chicago. Despite the peaceful nature of the protests video shows the police instigated violence which then became the news story as opposed to the substance behind the protests.

The police have never in the history of the Republic ever questioned or refused to enforce laws in clear violations of universal human rights, moral decency or that benefits the powerful or wealthy. The United States and other nations refused to allow German camp guards or Japanese soldiers the defense that they were simply following orders. Many of them were executed or sentenced to life in prison. Rush Limbaugh and others, however, respond that police do not make laws, but only enforce them. Limbaugh was referring to police who enforced slavery.

Ultimately it illuminates a moment in which the systematic erosion of law and civil liberties by law enforcement can no longer be ignored. That law enforcement should have such disdain and callous disregard for civil liberties, while nothing is done to hold the wealthy and powerful accountable, such as HSBC bank officials supporting terrorists, Al Qeada and drug cartels, shows the danger they now pose to all Americans. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until white people were subjected to “Hell at Homan” that the anyone took note. This, apparently has been happening to black and Hispanic victims for many years.

Regular readers will know that I do not pull punches. It is with the heaviest of hearts that I f ear the possible retribution this article may bring. My love of this country , and its potential, is so great that I simply cannot stand by when injustice such as this occurs. However, I understand that many of us feel we are standing alone. The state strategically attacked Occupy activists and leaders, like Michigan’s Chris Wahmoff, to prevent them from ever becoming active in society above the level of protests. Evidence was planted, situations fabricated and a willing mainstream Press compliant in destroying dissent.

And so I write, knowing full well I may well be targeted by a state we have surrendered to the forces of oppression…

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “Shoot Down: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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