Received from Refuse Fascism Chicago

Refuse Fascism Wins Beginning Victory in Fight to Protest Fascist Trump/Pence Regime in Millennium Park in Chicago



Today during a press conference held to protest last week's attack on the right to protest in Millennium Park, the Security Director of the Park arrived to convey the message that as long as the protesters keep the protest peaceful, they are welcome in Millennium Park, with their signs and other materials.

On Oct 26, #OutNow protesters demanding “Trump and Pence Must Go NOW!” at Millennium Park were informed by park security, backed up by Chicago Police, that leaflets could not be handed out, that banners and signs could not be held up where they were visible; no amplified sound was allowed, and no drums allowed.

Refuse Fascism Chicago was determined not to be deterred and successfully continued with the rally and their signs and banners and amplified sound until they marched off to take #OutNow out to the streets.

We were also determined to publicly expose the blatant suppression of the message that this dangerous regime must be stopped now by the mass, sustained, nonviolent action of the people in the street.

Refuse Fascism said in a press release, “It is ridiculous and unacceptable for the City to designate one small portion of Millennium Park as a free speech zone and then restrict it so severely that it means free speech will only be tolerated when it cannot be seen or heard. These restrictions suffocate the ability to project the #OUTNOW! message to the broad public and the ability of our Saturday protests to grow and solidify when it is so urgent that society be awakened and empowered to stand up against the fascist nightmare facing humanity.”

Refuse Fascism informed the ACLU of Illinois about these violations of basic rights. Yesterday, October 31 the ACLU sent a strong letter to Mark Kelly, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The ACLU letter states: 

"Based on witness accounts, Park Security made unconstitutional demands of protesters, some of which were based on unconstitutional provisions of the August 26, 2019 Millennium Park Rules (the "Rules").  I ask for your assurances that such restrictions will not be imposed at future protests, including Refuse Fascism's demonstrations planned for the next three Saturdays."

Several hours after the press conference Mr. Kelly sent a written response to the ACLU, agreeing to allow the #OUTNOW protesters in Wrigley Square on November 2 to use signs, banners, leaflets and reasonable sound amplification, (while at the same time, reserving the City’s rights to revisit these legal issues.)  

This is a beginning victory in the fight against this fascist regime. Only two days after the City tried to suppress the #OutNow protest thousands of people protested Trump's visit to Chicago when he talked to the police chiefs association. Trump escalated the fascist police state threatening “far-left activists" and sanctuary cities and calling for more repression against Black and Latino people.

Meanwhile Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson, who Trump also attacked for not being repressive enough, has a long history of violence against the Black and Latino people and revolutionaries in Chicago, including the Revolution Club.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that Trump's "ignorant buffoonery" is not welcome in Chicago. Yet this same administration was enforcing rules to silence and shut down the #OUTNOW! fight to unseat this fascist regime. If you are suppressing dissent and the fight to oust this regime then you are complicit with this regime. Voices for justice are being throttled by the City of Chicago while violent thugs are being unleashed from the White House.

Nationally this movement has faced violent attacks by MAGA thugs in LA followed by further serious threats. In Chicago there have been disruptions by Trump followers. Andy Zee, co-initiator of Refuse Fascism has said, “No matter what they throw at us, we will not be deterred. The Proud Boy thugs are violent enforcers of Trump/Pence’s fascist program. We won’t back down. The #OUTNOW! movement won’t stop continuing non-violent protest until this whole regime is driven from power.”

“We defend those who are attacked for standing up against fascism. We work to turn every attack into a means to rally more people to join this great cause,” point #5 from the flyer “Join the #OutNow movement” says.

Click here to read the Refuse Fascism Call




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