Category Archives: Chicago
Hate toward other groups of people has increasingly been instilled in the hearts of people who commit hate crimes and other forms of negative behavior. The media has had a big part in brainwashing society into thinking that the Muslim community oppresses women. The statement that America is the land of the free for all people has been neglected as many have lost their rights and freedom due to constant harassment. Muslims have been viewed as violent people even though Islam promotes the opposite of violence and hate. Generalizations are the sound-bites of the day. Many people fail to fully educate themselves and instead allow the media to teach them stereotypes.
At a press conference at City Hall yesterday morning, Chicago Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) announced that he plans to introduce a resolution to provide elected community control of the police at today’s City Council meeting. The resolution is for a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) that would be the first of its kind in the country. As Alderman Rosa said at the very beginning, “This isn’t my ordinance, it’s the community’s ordinance.” Standing behind him were representatives from the Chicago Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression (CAARPR), Trinity United Church of Christ, and members from SEIU Healthcare – one of the unions endorsing CPAC.
July 1st marked the last Friday of Ramadan and International Al-Quds Day. At Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago, hundreds of protesters of all ages and religions turned out to stand with the people of Palestine and in opposition to the Israeli Occupation. The interfaith aspect of the day was apparent, as Hasidic Jews, Christians, and atheists turned up to support the mostly Muslim Al-Quds protesters. There was also a wide range of ages represented, from young children to teenagers to adults, and all of them had thoughts to share on the day.
I saw a contemporary of my father, Adnan Askar, at a funeral a few weeks before the passing of one of the most important people of the 20th century, Muhammad Ali. Askar is a good man, a retired worker whom I’ve always liked and respected. He is from my parents’ home village of El Jib, considered part of the Jerusalem municipality prior to 1967, but redistricted into the Ramallah area after that year’s war and the beginning of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, and the Syrian Golan Heights.
Last Tuesday, Dean Angelo Sr., President of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), “decried an unprecedented ‘level of disrespect’ faced by officers on the street,” according to an article in that day’s Chicago Tribune. The article went on to quote Angelo, “We’ve limited the officers’ ability to put people on the wall . . .” referring to what officers called the spread-eagle searching of detainees when Angelo was in the gang crimes unit back in the day.
On Tuesday, June 28th, chants of “Hey Rahm, shame, shame; no Iftar in our name” echoed as close to 100 Arabs, Muslims, and supporters — including children and entire families — broke fast together in what they called a #PeoplesIftar and protest of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “Community” Iftar at the Chicago Cultural Center downtown.
In the wake of the release of the Laquan McDonald video and the ensuing unrest in the city of Chicago, the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched an investigation last December into the practices of the Chicago Police Department (CPD). Several alternatives have been suggested to fix the problems with the CPD, but ever since the DOJ’s investigation started, a let’s-wait-and-see attitude has stymied any real progress towards reform. It is as if the City Council and the Mayor hope the DOJ will relieve them of any real responsibility for solving the problem. If the solution is based on the DOJ recommendations and that solution fails, they can hide behind the DOJ’s skirt and say, we did what they said we should do.
Protestors from the large coalition fighting for community control of the Chicago Police were joined by hundreds of members of the Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU) before the Wednesday City Counsel meeting to demand an all elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC). Mayor Rahm Emanuel had planned to have “the final details worked out on a comprehensive plan to fundamentally reshape our system of police accountability” and introduce his plan at this City Council meeting.
But seeing the planned protest that grew to an occupation of three floors of City Hall, the Mayor blinked and “postponed” announcing his plan.