Emanuel: Restrictions On Protesters Won’t End After G8 Summit
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UPDATED 01/03/12 1:39 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Going back on an earlier statement, Mayor Rahm Emanuel says restrictions and fines directed at protesters will be permanent, not temporary for the G8 and NATO summits.
As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, the mayor said at an unrelated news conference Tuesday that he made a mistake when he said the fines would only be temporary.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports
The ordinances introduced by the mayor in December will dramatically increase possible fines for anyone resisting police and allow cooperation between state, federal and local law enforcement. The fines would be between $200 and $1000, up from $25-$500.
The new rules would also include putting a two-hour time limit on demonstrations and restricting the use of bullhorns to certain hours.
New parade marshals would be required, as well as multiple permits for, say, a demonstration that starts at the Daley Plaza and marches through the streets.
When the issue first came up late last year, he was emphatic, saying, “This is temporary, and this is just for this conference, and it’s appropriate.”
“Guys, it’s not a big deal,” Emanuel said. “This is a one-time event. We are going to do it in an organized fashion.”
But now, Emanuel acknowledges the fines for protesters who violate police orders will be permanent, among other restrictions.
“When I answered the question, I misspoke and I take responsibility for the confusion,” Emanuel said. “The contracting piece is what I was speaking to, which is, that will not be permanent because it’s a onetime event.”
The mayor wants temporary power to contract for special services without City Council approval. He denies the restrictions will infringe on protesters’ First Amendment rights.
But WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports the protesters do not agree, and they are threatening to go to court if Mayor Emanuel succeeds in passing the restrictions.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser Reports
“I think we need to really push back on the mayor on this one, It’s outrageous,” said activist Andy Thayer of the Gay Liberation Network, who has been arrested plenty of times for violating parade regulations.
“Mayor Emanuel has frankly lied when he said that these ordinance changes would be temporary,” Thayer added.
He said this isn’t just about the NATO and G8 summits.
He says the new restrictions have “a whole series of ridiculous stipulations,” and nobody will be able to protest anything without being arrested and heavily fined.
“They’re making it much more difficult to grant (permits). It’s basically shifting all of the goal posts in the administration’s favor,” he said.
Political consultant Don Rose protested during the 1968 Democratic National Convention – an event infamous for what some call a police riot of violence on protesters. Rose said he sees parallels with the new laws.
“This does not stop people from acting out; in fact, it probably provokes acting out,” Rose said.
Thayer and Rose were among those filing applications for permits to stage demonstrations at the summit in May.
In the past, in other cities, G-8 and NATO summits have drawn protestors and participants alike from all over the world. The protests at those summits have often become disorderly and violent, leading to the advance preparations and restrictions.
The City Council takes up the new restrictions on Jan. 18.