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Mayor Rahm Emanuel made an admission on Tuesday: He “made a mistake” when he claimed that extraordinary security measures he proposed to handle protesters who descend on Chicago for the NATO and G-8 summits would be temporary and repealed after the events are over.
But the other changes will be permanent. They include: dramatically higher fines for resisting arrest; more surveillance cameras; parks and beaches closed until 6 a.m.; sweeping parade restrictions and higher fees for those events and empowering Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to “deputize law enforcement personnel” and forge cooperative agreements with a host of state, federal and local law enforcement agencies.. . .
“First Amendment rights will be protected. Public safety will be also protected, and I don’t see the two in conflict at all,” the mayor said.
That’s not what the protesters were saying before applying for a permit to stage a massive May 19 march from Daley Center plaza to McCormick Place.
Thayer offered as Exhibit “A” a proposed parade ordinance tailor-made to stifle all manner of public expression.
“Every single protest in the downtown area would be considered a ‘major parade’ with a whole series of ridiculous stipulations,” he said. “Every single piece of sound equipment would need to be registered with the city a week in advance. You can’t predict who’s gonna show up with a bullhorn. They are also insisting on a full lineup of [participants] a week in advance.
“This does not just affect G-8 and NATO protesters. Everyone who’s got a beef with the city or a private employer in this town is gonna be affected by this ordinance. They need to take this very seriously and say, ‘We do not want to go back to these ridiculous restrictions and thuggish behavior in response to protests.’ ”
Thayer said he expects the city to deny the permit, setting the stage for a court fight.