2. "City Hall lifted the veil on this summer's G8/NATO summit meetings here, disclosing significant new details on how much the events are likely to cost, what security preparations are being made and how the city intends to protect both free speech and public safety," Greg Hinz reports in Crain's.
"In a background briefing in Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office, city executives - though not the mayor himself - also announced they have issued the first demonstration permit and decided to pull back some on proposed higher fines for those who resist police.
"Under terms of the unusual briefing, I can't tell you exactly who said what, but I can tell you that among those speaking were Press Secretary Sarah Hamilton, Corporation Counsel Steve Patton, summit host committee chief Lori Healey and Felicia Davis, Mr. Emanuel's top aide for security matters."
Under terms of the briefing, reporters apparently aren't allowed to affix statements to public officials. Nice.
3. "Activists with the Coalition Against the NATO and G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8) this afternoon received a permit from the City of Chicago for a Saturday, May 19 march from Daley Plaza to McCormick Place, site of the NATO / G8 summits to be held May 19-21," the coalition said Thursday.
"'The issuance of this permit shows that the current ordinances, while not perfect, are more than adequate for large public events in our city, and that the Mayor should rescind his proposed anti-protester ordinances,' said Andy Thayer of CANG8. 'These proposed ordinance changes have been roundly condemned by all civil liberties experts who have reviewed them. The time to withdraw them is now.'
"The cover letter from the City accompanying the CANG8 permit contains a disturbing 'escape clause,' which reads, 'In the event [that] the Secret Service designates specific security zones or areas that impact your route, please note that the Chicago Department of Transportation will work with you to find an alternate route for your event.'
"'We reject the notion that the Secret Service should reject permits that have already been approved,' said Thayer. 'The feds have had at least six months to study the security issues surrounding the summits. In the event that they attempt to make large sections of the city inaccessible, we demand that the City insist that the protests proceed unimpeded and unmolested. Anything less would be hypocrisy on the Mayor's part.'
"The City Council is scheduled to vote on Emanuel's ordinance changes at its meeting on Wednesday, January 18. Two City Council committees are scheduled to discuss the changes on Tuesday, January 17 - the Committee on Budget and Government Operations at 10 AM in the 2nd floor City Council chambers, and the Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation at 1 PM in Room 201A."
5. "Just two weeks after Occupy Chicago activists celebrated helping a young homeless woman's family into a Northwest Side squat, she was arrested and charged with felony drug possession Saturday," the Sun-Timesreported on Monday.
"Destiny Cummings, 17, was found with 32 grams of marijuana during a traffic stop in the 3900 block of West Armitage Saturday evening, according to a police report. She and her family started squatting in a vacant home in the 2100 block of North Mulligan in November.
"Housing activists invited the media to a Hanukkah celebration at the squat on Dec. 26. Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction activists used the event to draw attention to what they said were 174,000 vacant homes in the city following the foreclosure crisis."
Chicago: Where it's illegal to occupy in the name of free speech but legal to occupy a parking spot with old furniture.
8. From Occupy Chicago HQ:
Arrestees: Get To The NLG Meeting!
Help us get the word out to those arrested at the horse who are planning to fight the charges!
Months after members from Occupy Chicago were arrested en masse during "Take the Horse," occupants are still involved in a plethora of other actions. We still remember those two weekends in October, but they have begun to fade in our memories as we work to occupy and fight to defend our civil liberties which are more and more frequently being stripped (NDAA, SOPA, Rahm's new anti-protest law.....).
Many of us who were arrested are still involved in the legal struggle to overturn these unfair charges. February 15th is our next court date for the consolidation of our cases, on the road to a jury trial. We have a very important meeting with the NLG on January 15th (next Sunday!) that everyone who is planning to fight the charges should definitely attend.
We are looking to consolidate even further the group who will take the matter to a jury trial, attempting to create a group that demonstrates the varied social structure of the 99%. It is important that everyone who has filed the motion attend the meeting.
Please help us spread word. The NLG, as wonderful as they have been, is unable to provide us with the contact info of all the arrestees because of legalities. So we must reach out to our comrades, to strengthen our case as much as possible.
The take away: NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD AND OCCUPY CHICAGO ARRESTEES (those who have filed a motion to dismiss) in Merchandise Mart suite 400 on January 15th at 2:00 PM.