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Bomb Train Protest In Pilsen

On Thursday July 10th, there was a protest against the fact that trains carrying Bakkan tar sands “oil” are finding their way through the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago.

This protest was organized by Debra Michaud of Tar Sands Free Midwest.

The protesters were there because of their concern that an explosive train derailment could devastate the the Pilsen neighborhood where these trains regularly pass through. Some say as many as three times a day these trains pass within Chicago proper. There is also concern that the Chicago’s Fire Department may not be up to the task of handling an explosive derailment situation. Additionally, there is great concern that the tanker cars involved are not nearly as secure as one would expect. It has been recommended that the tanker cars being used be replaced, but that is unlikely to happen in the near future.

Though the protesters were small in number, there has been a bit of press about the gathering.

The Sun Times is linked to here:

For more information on the safety of these tanker cars, come out to the event this Wednesday at Revolution Books


1103 North Ashland

Quick Review, NATO Protests

The excitement of all the protests over the past week are starting to settle down, and there has been so much going on in Chicago it’s hard to keep up.  The Can/G8  folks did a remarkable job of putting the march on, and getting everyone out. I heard it was the largest anti Nato protest in U.S. history. Unfortunately, the end of the march was marred by the actions of the Chicago Police who couldn’t resist putting their billy clubs to use. Too bad the police couldn’t have put those clubs down and come over to the side where their true interest lies.

Many remarkable stories are out there, so I wanted to provide a few links to some folks that have put some skill and heart into sharing their stories.

One is the story of Shana Foster, a vet who participated in the ceremony at the end of the march in which vets threw their medals back to at the Nato members. This is a link to the Common Dreams website which has her story.

For a more full account of the day of protest, Sunday, May 21st, check out Nick Egnatz’s blog which gives his observation of the day’s event here. What’s great about this story is Mr. Egnatz does take some time to give a little history and to explore some of the undercover actions that the Chicago Police and others were up to, trying to whip up fear and hysteria against the protesters.

Obviously, there are also many, many, pictures/videos etc all around the web regarding the march, you won’t have any trouble finding info about the march. Check this site out for example, with some good links as well, outlining  a couple of the 70 instances of police misconduct that the National Lawyers Guild suggests occured.

I was very happy to have folks from Wisconsin DGR Action Group come down and join us, bring their banner, their energy, and great attitudes to bolster our Chicago DGR contingent.

A big thank you to Seeds of Peace Collective for coming and doing the work they do to keep folks feed and fueled.

Also, many thanks to the folks of Occupy Chicago, the Chicago chapter of Rising Tide, who provide so much support to those in the environmental contingent organizing for the march,  P.E.R.R.O., and their actions in support of not only the march, but their constant speaking out and acting against the companies polluting the Pilsen area of Chicago. Of course there are many, many others, but one person I don’t want to forget is Vince Emanuel, ex-Marine, and member of Iraq Veterans against the War, (IVAW). His moving words are heartfelt and important to hear, as he recognizes where the true enemy is.

My name is Vince Emanuele, and I served with the United States Marine Corps. First and foremost, this is for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Second of all, this is for our real forefathers. I’m talking about the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. I’m talking about the Black Panthers. I’m talking about the civil rights movement. I’m talking about unions. I’m talking about our socialist brothers and sisters, our communist brothers and sisters, our anarchist brothers and sisters, and our ecology brothers and sisters. That’s who our real forefathers are. And lastly—and lastly and most importantly, our enemies are not 7,000 miles from home. They sit in boardrooms. They are CEOs. They are bankers. They are hedge fund managers. They do not live 7,000 miles from home. Our enemies are right here, and we look at them every day. They are not the men and women who are standing on this police line. They are the millionaires and billionaires who control this planet, and we’ve had enough of it. So they can take their medals back.

It was great to be out that Sunday.  I’m hoping you will be with us at the next march, that we have 25o,ooo protesters in the street, and that that’s just the start of something really happening.


DGR Chicago and Wisconsin at the Anti-Nato March

DGRs Chicago and Wisconsin chapters working together for the first time to bring attention to the planet destruction caused by the increasing militarization of the planet. Here are a few photos for your pleasure!


Fabuuuulous DGR Banner. Thanks Ben, Val, and Katy for coming down and bringing such a great banner