Never mind free speech, Chicago's mayor wanted to show protesters who was boss ahead of May's summits, says attorney
The most interesting revelation from Wednesday's mass court hearing at the Daley Center in Chicago on the Occupy arrests – probably the single largest joined criminal case in the Chicago's history – was the suggestion that Rahm Emanuel may have personally ordered the arrests of the peaceful Occupy Chicago protesters back in Grant Park in October 2011. At least one of the affidavits submitted by Thomas Durkin, a lead attorney for the defendants, suggested that. As Durkin argued:
"This was Mayor Rahm Emanuel being Mr Tough Guy to show the world that they can come for G8 and Nato. It's as simple as that. There was no need to make mass arrests on this night. There was no need to show Mr Tough Guy. It was a show of force. It was stupid."
The evidence is starting to point that way. Shortly before 11pm, on Saturday 15 October, a police supervisor with rank told the Occupy protesters that they were going to be allowed to stay in Grant Park and protest, so long as they kept the volume down. It was actually an ironic moment when the "human microphone" started urging protesters, in its uniquely reiterative way, to be quiet so that guests in the neighboring hotels could sleep. It had a surreal element to it – but that fit nicely with the performative aspects of the Occupy movement.
They've got to stop having these G8, G20, NATO meetings. Period. Or at least stop having them in cities. Couldn't they just video conference on Skype....for free? Tom