Places Archives: Illinois

Pipeline 61 worse than Keystone XL

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Writer Carl Sack has written a great piece revealing the history of Pipeline 61, arguably more destructive and threatening than the Keystone XL.

As this pipeline courses through Wisconsin and ends in Illinois, we hope people will become aware of the threat it poses to communities along it’s path.

Please check out this powerful story by Carl.

http://zenithcitynews.com/070814/feature.htm

 

 

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:

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/28587099-418/pilsen-activists-worried-bomb-trains-could-be-traveling-through-their-neighborhood.html#.U8AD0Y1dWuR

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

7-9pm

1103 North Ashland

Political Hypnosis in the State of the State Address

DGR Chicago responds to Governor Quinn’s January 29, 2014 State of the State Address:

Contrary to the words of Governor Quinn during his recent address, Illinois is in a state of disaster.

Quinn mentions extreme weather – but not climate change. Illinois residents have experienced the coldest winter in more than 30 years. This is the result of unusually high Pacific Ocean temperatures caused by global climate change. It was this shift in ocean temperatures that disrupted the “polar vortex” and plunged the country into an arctic winter.

And yet, the state legislature has disregarded the populace’s concern for the global climate by proposing legislation that would allow large-scale hydrofracturing in Southern Illinois.       Fracking: Another step in the death march towards an atmosphere resembling Venus. This would also result in the contamination of drinking and irrigation water (See the Governor’s Clean Water Initiative below), as well as the destruction of precious natural habitats, such as those located around Starved Rock State Park, where mining companies are planning to extract sand for fracking operations.

Considering that fracking is known to cause seismic activity, and that Illinois has more nuclear reactors than any other state, maybe we should stop to think if we really want to be the next in line after Fukushima for an on-going nuclear disaster? Despite almost universal disapproval of fracking at Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ public hearings, the agency has already decided to work in the service of corporations instead of the the Illinois people or whatever small fragments of uncontaminated nature remain in this state.

This is not particularly surprising. Illinois has a history as one of the most corrupt states in the nation, and now is no exception. With one former governor in jail, another on the way, and former Chicago Alderman Ambrosio Medrano having just been sentenced to 10 ½ years for accepting bribes, is there really any reason to suspect Gov. Quinn is any different?

Quinn mentions Illinois’ planned investment in a “bio-hub for pharmaceutical, medical device, and health IT start-ups.” Whatever that actually means, he obviously is more concerned with its ability to “drive economic growth” than to facilitate some kind of medical care. In fact, a study just ranked Illinois the 45th in the nation for emergency medical treatment. It also ranked the Prairie State the 43rd state in the nation for disaster preparedness, giving the lie to the governor’s empty rhetoric concerning community resilience.

Quinn has declared a disaster over an apparent shortage of propane in Illinois. How about the mercury and other toxins, approximately 20 times the legal limit, that British Petroleum is dumping into Lake Michigan, which serves as the drinking water for over 8.5 million people? Is that not a disaster?

He talks of the need for a “sound infrastructure” to support economic growth. But he fails to mention the importance of the very land and water upon which we depend for existence, the biological infrastructure of life.

He talks of investing over $1 billion into a Clean Water initiative, but is this anything but a distraction? Water does not actually require money to be free of toxic substances – it only needs to avoid contamination in the first place. But this would apparently be far too detrimental to the beloved, sacrosanct “economy” to find itself on his agenda.

Quinn quotes the Bible, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” What happens to the people when there is no potable water or uncontaminated food? Apparently this vision of which Gov. Quinn speaks is that emanating from the all-seeing eye on the back of a dollar bill, which can see nothing beyond the other bills stacked atop it.

The empty platitudes and anecdotal pathos which constituted Quinn’s address were a clear attempt at political hypnosis, seeking to lull its audience to sleep with words completely devoid of meaning or a coherent relationship with reality.

The only thing that the speech effectively did communicate was an utter disdain for its audience. But we are not as stupid as these politicians would have us believe. We do not need to accept their deranged vision of reality, according to which money, rather than a thriving biosphere, is the source of our sustenance. We do not need to accept their proclamations that people with enough money can buy the right to pump toxic substances into the earth, and further decimate the land within which we live. This ecocidal agenda is not inevitable. But if we are going to protect ourselves, our non-human companions, and the land of Illinois, we cannot allow these insane reversals of priority to go uncontested. With all of our love for the wild nature within and around us, we must fight!

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.

Wade

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

 

 

What’s Legal Protest in Chicago? Know your rights!

Deep Green Resistance Chicago (DGRC) is hoping many will be coming to Chicago for some of the many protests planned in May.  Hopefully, if you are in the area, you have a chance to check out this event.

“Thousands of demonstrators are expected to converge upon the City of Chicago in May for the NATO Summits. The ACLU, as part of our commitment to defending civil liberties and the First Amendment, will be offering a forum on protesters’ rights.

Join ACLU of Illinois staff attorney Karen Sheley for an overview of the rules and regulations about protesting in Chicago. Learn about your rights under the First Amendment, and how to protest safely and legally in the City of Chicago.”

Wednesday, April 25th 6:30 pm Chicago Temple 77 West Washington Chicago, IL

This event is free and open to the public, but we request an RSVP.

Can’t make it to the forum? Join us for an online training on Thursday, April 26th at 1:00 p.m.