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Mayor of Chicago: Stop Restrictions on Public Protests


Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed changes to the city’s parade ordinance that severely limit our right to peaceable assembly and free speech.  His proposal criminalizes the act of expressing dissent, minimizes the time and place where people can protest, gives police more authority to suppress protesters, and add extensive rules and restrictions that hyper-bureaucratize the process of obtaining a permit and severely limit the fluidity of demonstrations.

Although Mayor Emanuel initially claimed these measures were temporary and in response to the upcoming NATO and G8 summits in May, the mayor’s office has since admitted that this legislation would be permanent.  This ordinance is a direct attack on anyone in this city who might ever walk a picket line, attend a rally, or stand in solidarity with others in support of a cause.  Non-profit organizations, unions, religious organizations, and all those who would defend the rights of the citizenry, in any context, must speak out now, before it’s too late.   Mayor Emanuel seeks to stifle dissent at a time when it is more urgent than ever that our voices be heard.  


The mayor has offered a Substitute Ordinance in response to the opposition the prior one received from the public and city council.  Don’t be fooled, the substitute ordinance removes some superficially harmful language, but at it’s core still fundamentally alters how the City of Chicago can define your right to Free Assembly.

Some key points of Mayor Emanuel’s proposal include:

- Public Assemblies would be limited to sidewalks, excluding them from the public way

 - The maximum fine for protesters resisting arrest or obstructing an officer (which includes simply going limp while police cuff you) would double to $1,000, and the minimum fine would be increased from $50 to $200.

 - Amplified sound would only be allowed 8am and 10pm.

 - People would be required to have their any recording equipment, sound amplification equipment, banners, signs, or other attention-getting devices to be approved for a permit

 - At least a week prior to the march, every contingent would have to be registered with the city.

 - Sidewalks would also be subject to the same demands as the streets, giving the police discretion to enforce the ordinance.

We, Occupy Rogers Park and Occupy the SouthSide, are writing to ask for your support and participation in our action to block this proposal. We hope you will join us in defending our basic democratic rights. 


“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

    - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, “Letter from Birmingham”

You can read more about the proposal in this article in the Chicago Tribune, and read the actual text at the bottom of this article in Chicago Indymedia.





This petition was delivered to:
  • Alderman Ward 24
    Michael Chandler
  • Alderman Ward 43
    Michele Smith
  • Alderman Ward 17
    Latasha R. Thomas
  • Alderman Ward 5
    Leslie A. Hairston
  • Alderman Ward 45
    John Arena
  • Alderman Ward 21
    Howard Brookins, Jr.
  • Alderman Ward 16
    Joann Thompson
  • Alderman Ward 20
    Willie Cochran
  • Alderman Ward 23
    Michael R. Zalewski
  • Alderman Ward 46
    James Cappleman
  • Alderman Ward 48
    Harry Osterman
  • Alderman Ward 40
    Patrick J. O'Connor
  • Mayor of Chicago
    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago City Council
  • Alderman Ward 7
    Sandi Jackson
  • Alderman Ward 49
    Joe Moore
  • Alderman Ward 35
    Rey Colon
  • Alderman Ward 22
    Ricardo Munoz
  • Alderman Ward 38
    Timothy M. Cullerton
  • Alderman Ward 50
    Debra L. Silverstein
  • Alderman Ward 6
    Roderick T Sawyer
  • Alderman Ward 36
    Nicholas Sposato
  • Alderman Ward 11
    James Balcer
  • Alderman Ward 13
    Marty Quinn
  • Alderman Ward 19
    Matthew O'Shea
  • Alderman Ward 26
    Roberto Maldonado
  • Alderman Ward 2
    Bob Fioretti
  • Alderman Ward 25
    Daniel Solis
  • Alderman Ward 30
    Ariel Reboyras
  • Alderman Ward 44
    Thomas Tunney
  • Alderman Ward 31
    Regner Ray Suarez
  • Alderman Ward 8
    Michelle A. Harris
  • Alderman Ward 27
    Walter Burnett, Jr.
  • Alderman Ward 18
    Lona Lane
  • Alderman Ward 1
    Joe "Proco" Moreno
  • Alderman Ward 15
    Toni Foulkes
  • Alderman Ward 47
    Ameya Pawar
  • Alderman Ward 29
    Deborah L. Graham
  • Alderman Ward 9
    Anthony Beale

Occupy Rogers Park Occupy the SouthSide started this petition with a single signature, and now has 17,141 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.