Chicago Continues to Remember ’68 DNC, “Anti Bait Truck” Event Gives Away 10,000 Shoes, Rauner Vetoes More Legislation – Third Coast Today 08-27-18

“Anti Bait Truck” Event Gives Away 10,000 Pairs of Shoes

Rapper Vic Mensa’s SaveMoneySafeLife Foundation gave away thousands of pairs of shoes at an “anti bait truck” event in Englewood Sunday as a response to a tactic used in a joint operation by the the Norfolk Southern Railroad Police and Chicago Police Department.

Earlier this month viral video showed “bait trucks” set up in the neighborhood, where a truck carrying merchandise is parked and then abandoned while police watch and wait for people to open it. Both Norfolk Southern and CPD faced harsh criticism for the tactic, as the truck was parked more than a mile from the closest railyard and targeted already poor youth of color.

“This Sunday my foundation @savemoneysavelife is giving away THOUSANDS of shoes on a Anti-Bait Truck in Englewood on 2050 W 59th St. Tell everyone you know in Chicago!” wrote Mensa in a series of tweets on Thursday. If you weren’t aware, the police escorted a bait truck full of shoes through the hood on one of the cities most violent weekends, showing just what they think of us. Strength is in numbers and power is to the people; we know our worth, and apparently the world does too.”

Rauner Roundly Criticized for More Vetoes

Governor Bruce Rauner is taking more criticism for a fresh new set of vetoes, this time on legislation for immigrant rights, teacher salaries, and lawsuit awards to veterans.

Late last week Rauner vetoed three immigration bills, along with legislation that would’ve raised the minimum salary for teachers to $40,000 over five years, and raised the amount of damages people suing the state can seek.

“Teachers are our greatest asset in ensuring the future of our youth and they deserve to be well-compensated for their hard work,” Rauner wrote in his veto message on why he nixed their raises, according to the Chicago Tribune. “However, minimum pay legislation is neither the most efficient nor the most effective way to compensate our teachers.”

Governor Bruce Rauner greets attendees at the Illinois State Fair in 2016. Photo by Aaron Cynic/File.

On lawsuit damages, which include survivors of veterans who are suing the state, such as those who died from Legionnaires disease at a veterans home in Quincy, Rauner said that the proposed $2 million cap on awards effectively ignores “the impact of vastly expanded future litigation on the fiscal position of the State and its taxpayers.”

“I recognize that the current law is outdated and in need of adjustment,” said Rauner in a statement published by Capitol Fax. “However, this adjustment should reflect regional and national averages in order to properly compensate those who, once properly adjudicated, were found harmed by the State of Illinois.”

Rauner’s immigration vetoes included a law intended to protect immigrant survivors of domestic violence, one that would’ve created “policies to protect immigrants against ICE arrests at courthouses, schools, hospitals and other sensitive locations,” and one which would’ve barred landlords from evicting or threatening tenants based on their actual or suspected immigration status.

“The General Assembly passed five bills to protect immigrant communities across Illinois and make Illinois the most welcoming state in the nation,” said Fred Tsao, senior policy counsel at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights in a press release. “A year ago, Gov. Rauner signed the TRUST Act, yet today he announces vetoes for three bills that would make our state more welcoming. One moment he is addressing the needs of immigrant communities, and the next, he is using hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric to rationalize rejecting bills that are vital to our communities.  Can immigrants really trust this governor?”

Rauner’s Democratic gubernatorial rival J.B. Pritzker slammed him on both the lawsuit bill and wages for teachers in statements emailed to the press.

“I’m disgusted by Bruce Rauner’s callous dismissal of Veteran families in this veto,” Pritzker said. “These families lost loved ones because of Rauner’s fatal mismanagement of the Veterans’ home in Quincy. No amount of money will ever bring back a life taken too soon or soothe a family’s grief, but Rauner had the indecency to lower the reparations for those who have paid the ultimate price.”

On the bill which would’ve raised teacher salaries, Pritzker said he was “disappointed.” “With this veto, thousands of educators across the state are being denied a raise at the same time that Illinois grapples with a worsening teacher shortage that this governor is doing nothing to stop,” he said.

The Illinois Federation of Teachers also blasted the governor for the veto. “Tonight’s veto further demonstrates Bruce Rauner’s disrespect for teachers, staff, and the work we do,” said IFT President Dan Montgomery in an emailed statement.

Activists Continue to Remember 1968 DNC Protests

Chicagoans will continue to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic National Convention this week with a panel discussion at UIC on Tuesday.

Titled “The Whole World is Still Watching,” the panel will feature organizers of the ‘68 protests who will “discuss the personal and historical significance of these events as well as the role of social protest in a civil society.”

The 1968 DNC brought some 10,000 protesters to Chicago, who were met by more than twice as many police and National Guardsmen who subsequently gassed, beat, and arrested hundreds of people. Four days and nights of what was called a “police riot” by the December 1968 Walker Report resulted in more than 650 arrests, 1100 demonstrators injured, and 192 injuries to law enforcement officers.

Over the weekend about 150 demonstrators marched from Daley Plaza to the General John Logan monument in Grant Park, the site of many of the most brutal clashes between police and demonstrators.

Anti-war protesters gather at the General John Logan Memorial in Grant Park during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Wikipedia

“People around the world who bear the brunt of our wars are watching and asking, what have we done,” anti-war activist Kathy Kelly told WBBM.

Tuesday’s event will feature seven panelists, including County commissioner & Dem. 4th Congressional District nominee Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia.

“When police officers, along with the National Guard and U.S. Secret Service, waded into the demonstrators’ ranks with tear gas and night sticks as a national television audience watched, the protesters chanted, ‘The whole world is watching!’ organizers wrote in a press release. “The issues raised by the 1968 protests and the events that flowed from them, war and peace, state-sanctioned violence and police brutality, are still in question today. This will give panelists a jumping off point to also discuss present-day questions such as: Who has the right to protest? Who decides? What is the role of social protest in the 21st Century? How have militarization, surveillance and technology changed protest?”

The panel is free, and will run from 9am until noon on Tuesday at the Illinois Room, UIC Student Center East, 750 S. Halsted St. Chicago.

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Aaron Cynic
Aaron Cynic