Category Archives: Chicago

Op Ed – Challenges of Muslim Women in College

Muslim-College-Women

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.

Chicago Alderman Carlos Rosa to Introduce Community Control of Police Resolution

Photo by Bill Chambers

By Bill Chambers

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.

The Solution Still Ignored: Community Control of the Police

CPAC-Inline02

By Bill Chambers

Over 40 years ago, Black and Latino activists in Chicago, raised the demand for community control of policing practices and justice for police crimes. The Black Panther Party and the Young Lords Party both pressed for community control of the police in the late 1960s and early 1970s without success. Community control of the police is NOT “Community Policing” – a discredited concept that some in the Obama Administration have been pushing since 2015 as the answer to police violence. Community control of the police means ensuring accountability for police crimes. The deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Philando Castile in St. Paul and five Dallas police officers – Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens, and Michael Smith – means it’s time for a solution to police crimes that has been ignored for over 40 years.

Al Quds Day in Chicago 2016

(Photo by Bill Chambers)

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.

A Palestinian’s Tribute to Muhammad Ali

ali-supreme-court-thumb

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.

Op Ed – Respect of the Chicago Police is Earned Not Awarded

7114001_chicago-police-reports-differs-wildly-from_ae5f0415_m

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.

Chicago Arab and Muslim Organizations Boycott and Protest Mayor Emanuel’s Community Iftar

Photo by USPCN

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.

Op Ed – Chicago’s Plan for Police Reform is Clear: There Will Be None

Eddie-Johnson

The release of the Laquan McDonald video and the ensuing cover-up by the city of Chicago have revealed a part of the sordid political workings of the Rahm Emmanuel administration. In his attempt to maintain the status quo, Rahm ignored the recommendations of the Police Board he appointed, and installed Eddie Johnson as the Superintendent of Police, the same Eddie Johnson who on March 29, 2016, claimed to never have seen police misconduct during his 27-year career with the Chicago Police Department (CPD). Rahm clearly picked the right man for the job of continuing the cover-up.

Chicago’s Reliance on Department of Justice for Police Reform is Misguided

DOJ-CPD

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.

Chicago Activists and Teachers Occupy City Hall for Community Control of Police

(Photo by Bill Chambers)

By Bill Chambers

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.