WBEZ | NATO http://www.wbez.org/tags/nato Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en NATO 5 protester in solitary in maximum security prison http://www.wbez.org/news/nato-5-protester-solitary-maximum-security-prison-108511 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Pontiac Prison.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>One of the so-called NATO 5 protesters has been put in segregation in prison for having &ldquo;dangerous written material&rdquo; in his cell.</p><p>Mark Neiweem is serving a three-year sentence for asking someone to buy him components to make a pipe bomb in the run up to the NATO summit held in Chicago. According to the Illinois Department of Corrections,&nbsp; Neiweem was put into segregation in mid-July at the maximum security Pontiac prison. Inmates held in segregation get one shower and five hours outside their cell per week.</p><p>A disciplinary report on Neiweem states he &ldquo;was found in possession of copious amounts of Anarchist publications, handwritten Anarchist related essays, and signs and symbolisms indicative of Anarachists.&rdquo; That violates departmental rule 209: &ldquo;Possessing written material that presents a serious threat to the safety and security of persons or the facility.&rdquo;</p><p>The disciplinary report also cites a confidential informant in the prison who told guards that Neiweem was recruiting other inmates to be part of a collective.</p><p>The Department of Corrections says Neiweem will remain in segregation until January of next year. In a Cook County Adult Probation Department report Neiweem told an investigator that he has a history of drug abuse and mental illness and has attempted suicide on two occasions.</p></p> Fri, 23 Aug 2013 15:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/nato-5-protester-solitary-maximum-security-prison-108511 Leftover NATO funds to help improve Chicago parks http://www.wbez.org/news/leftover-nato-funds-help-improve-chicago-parks-104737 <p><p>Chicago parks and cultural programs will get a multi-million dollar funding boost thanks to last year&#39;s NATO Summit.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Sunday that an additional $2 million in private funds left over from last year&#39;s meeting of world leaders will be invested in neighborhood parks and cultural programs. Chicago hosted the two-day meeting in May.</p><p>Emanuel says the money will be used to build a new park playground in North Lawndale at the Frazier schools and improve existing parks, including by upgrading lights and turf.</p><p>These funds will also double the number of performances of Circus in the Parks and extend the program to new parks and new audiences.</p><p>Emanuel says he hopes the initiative will help to ensure that every Chicagoan lives in walking distance from a park.</p></p> Sun, 06 Jan 2013 20:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/leftover-nato-funds-help-improve-chicago-parks-104737 Occupy activists try to lift spirits of jailed comrades http://www.wbez.org/news/occupy-activists-try-lift-spirits-jailed-comrades-100080 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/99percentSCALED.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px 0px; float: left; width: 192px; height: 287px;" title="An Occupy Chicago activist Wednesday heads from the Cook County Criminal Courthouse after a hearing for two NATO protesters facing bomb-related charges. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell) " /></div><p>Sebastian Senakiewicz and Mark Neiweem are getting less public attention than <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/prosecutors-keep-terror-indictments-defendants-100044">three other NATO protesters</a> jailed on bomb-related charges. But Occupy Chicago activists on Wednesday pulled off a defiant display inside a Cook County courtroom to let the two know they are not going it alone.</p><p>The scene was a hearing at which prosecutors announced that a grand jury had indicted Senakiewicz, 24, and Neiweem, 28, for allegedly talking about building explosives to wreak havoc during the military alliance&rsquo;s summit in Chicago last month. Two or three diligent reporters were on hand but not a single television camera. The media &ldquo;pen&rdquo; &mdash; a cordoned section of the courthouse lobby &mdash; was barren.</p><p>The courtroom, though, was full of Occupy activists willing to buck warnings from a beefy sheriff&rsquo;s officer against creating any sort of spectacle.</p><p>After the hearing, as Senakiewicz and Neiweem were led to the courtroom&rsquo;s side door, their Occupy comrades made their move. There were just a few seconds for the defendants to get a glimpse of the gallery and, when they did, they saw a dozen fists in the air.</p><p>&ldquo;They can waive back to us in solidarity and they can feel that love and support that our whole movement has for them,&rdquo; said Rachael Perrotta, one of the Occupy activists.</p><p>Prosecutors last month charged Senakiewicz with falsely making a terrorist threat and Neiweem with solicitation for explosives or incendiary devices. A judge set their bonds at, respectively, $750,000 and $500,000 &mdash; amounts their attorneys say will keep them locked up.</p><p>At Wednesday&rsquo;s hearing, Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil set their next court appearance for July 2.</p><p>The Occupy activists vowed to be there.</p></p> Wed, 13 Jun 2012 16:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/occupy-activists-try-lift-spirits-jailed-comrades-100080 Illinois ventures into unchartered waters by using own terror laws http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-ventures-unchartered-waters-using-own-terror-laws-100010 <p><p>Three suspects appear in a Chicago court Tuesday to face terrorism-related charges for allegedly plotting to hurl Molotov cocktails at President Barack Obama&#39;s campaign headquarters.</p><p>But it&#39;ll be state, not federal attorneys handling their case.</p><p>Even as lawmakers in Illinois and at least 35 other states adopted ant-terrorism laws after Sept. 11, 2001, they agreed the anti-terrorist fight was best left to legions of U.S. government lawyers.</p><p>So the decision by Cook County State&#39;s Attorney office to test Illinois&#39; law for the first time against activists arrested before last month&#39;s NATO summit surprised many experts.</p><p>Former federal prosecutor Phil Turner says Illinois state prosecutors are entering &quot;unchartered waters.&quot; He says their lack of manpower and expertise compared with their federal counterparts raises doubts about their ability to secure terrorist convictions.</p><p><span id="_oneup">Defense attorneys say all three intend to enter not-guilty pleas. It&#39;s unclear if they&#39;ll do that Tuesday.</span></p><p><span>All three suspects have remained in jail since their arrests days before May&#39;s NATO summit.</span></p></p> Tue, 12 Jun 2012 08:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-ventures-unchartered-waters-using-own-terror-laws-100010 Metra says NATO summit cost them $800,000 http://www.wbez.org/news/metra-says-nato-summit-cost-them-800000-99890 <p><p>Metra says the NATO summit held in Chicago last month cost the commuter rail agency $800,000.</p><p><a href="http://trib.in/MaMyiY">The Chicago <em>Tribune</em> reports</a> that some Metra board members say they&#39;re surprised the costs weren&#39;t higher.</p><p>Metra says the money includes $400,000 in lost passenger revenue for customers who stayed away and money for extra security expenses, including bomb-sniffing dogs and hiring outside security firms.</p><p>Metra Chief Financial Officer Thomas Farmer is expected to present the NATO costs at Friday&#39;s meeting of the Metra Board.</p><p>Metra Board member Jack Schaffer says his agency serves &quot;a great city, and occasionally we have to pay the bill.&quot;</p><p>According to Metra, the total tab for the NATO summit was about $1 million but the agency expects the federal government to reimburse it about $200,000.</p></p> Thu, 07 Jun 2012 09:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/metra-says-nato-summit-cost-them-800000-99890 Are Turkey and Africa the keys to Europe's future? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/are-turkey-and-africa-keys-europes-future-99531 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gul.jpg" title="Turkish President Abdullah Gul, center, poses with President Barack Obama, right, and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen as he arrives at the NATO Summit. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)" /></div><p>Editor&#39;s Note: Worldview<em> contributor Robert L. Price was at this past weekend&#39;s NATO summit and has been blog throughout the week on the summit and sustainability issues. Today, Price looks at how Western Europe made a historic bet, choosing Greece, Italy and Spain over Turkey and Africa -- and how that bet came up short.</em></p><p>In 2009, I was at a symposium in Chicago given by the <a href="http://urbanaffairsassociation.org/">Urban Affairs Association</a>. One part of the event discussed Mediterranean cities. Many lecturers and breakout sessions covered cities such as Barcelona, Naples and Athens.</p><p>Barcelona was noted for its diversity and rich cultural heritage as a result of its African roots. Spain has a Moorish tradition that clearly influenced its architectural heritage. Spanish trade with Africa, and especially the East, was one of many reasons for its past wealth and glory.</p><p>For Naples, the presenter demonstrated how its seaport was one of Italy&rsquo;s busiest, and how, for prosperity sake, the Italians should consider reorienting towards the South once more. When Italy faced south, like Spain, it knew great prosperity. Then there was Athens. Although much discussion centered on modern Athens, the presenter did not deny its ancient links to Africa, via Egypt, for centuries, if not millennia, and how Greece historically shared riches with Asia Minor.</p><p>This week I saw an <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2HPc9WPgYg">address</a> sponsored by the <a href="http://www.thechicagocouncil.org/">Chicago Council on Global Affairs</a>. Turkish President Abdullah Gul, in town for the NATO summit, was the guest speaker. His talk was quite optimistic:</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>Despite many global economic risks, the Turkish economy rests on sturdy macro foundations . . . [it has] an economy with strong public finances, sustainable debt dynamics, a sound banking system, functional credit markets. </em></p><p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>Countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, which are now at the post-revolutionary stage of institutionalizing the change, Turkey is their most active partner. </em></p><p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>In Africa alone, we will have 34 embassies by the end of this year, whereas we had only 12 in 2009.</em></p><p>Greece has been idealized as the cultural, philosophical and historical bedrock of Western civilization. This emotional connection had to score extra points in Greece&rsquo;s bid for European Union membership. Turkey, on the other hand, has lobbied for membership since 1959, but the Turks were perceived as too big, too poor, too Muslim or too &ldquo;other&rdquo; to join the EU.</p><p>Now look at Spain, Italy and Greece, all of which ignored their former southern Mediterranean or African trading partners. They are in financial dire straits and represent the weakest economic links of the European Union. Compare them to Turkey, a NATO member, denied admission to the EU club. It embraced its African Mediterranean relationships and now emerges as an economic model for Europe.</p><p>Any regrets, EU?</p><p><em>Robert L. Price is an architect and interior designer based in Shanghai, China. He is Worldview&#39;s arts and architecture contributor and a Global Cities co-contributor. Price also serves as Senior Associate and Technical Director for Asia at <a href="http://www.gensler.com/">Gensler</a>, a global design firm.</em></p></p> Fri, 25 May 2012 10:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/are-turkey-and-africa-keys-europes-future-99531 Chief wants NATO lessons to translate to street corner policing http://www.wbez.org/news/chief-wants-nato-lessons-translate-street-corner-policing-99498 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/McCarthy and Emanuel 2.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says hosting NATO this past weekend is going to have some long-term benefits for his department.</p><p>McCarthy has talked a lot about how officers working the NATO protests started out wearing just their regular uniforms.</p><p>&ldquo;If we just came out in the riot gear from day one, we would have had an entirely different dynamic going on in this city.&nbsp; The confrontational appearance would have resulted in confrontation,&rdquo; McCarthy said.</p><p>McCarthy said the officers saw this weekend that you can either escalate a situation or de-escalate it.</p><p>&ldquo;It&#39;s not gonna be a big shift to get them to understand that instead of cursing at somebody and telling them to get off the corner, you explain to them, somebody just got shot down the block and maybe this isn&#39;t a good place to stand.&nbsp; It&#39;s two totally different dynamics,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>McCarthy said when officers treat people with respect, the police are viewed as legitimate and citizens become more concerned about not violating the law.</p></p> Wed, 23 May 2012 18:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chief-wants-nato-lessons-translate-street-corner-policing-99498 A return to European tribalism? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/return-european-tribalism-99443 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/turkey china.jpg" title="Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan review an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony in Beijing in April. China’s and Turkey’s growing geopolitical influence is challenging Western European and American hegemony. (AP/Vincent Thian)" /></div><p>Editor&#39;s Note: Worldview<em> contributor Robert L. Price was at this weekend&#39;s NATO summit and will blog throughout the week on the summit and sustainability issues. Here, Price observes a new form of European tribalism that may accelerate the</em><em> paradigm shift of</em><em> geopolitical hegemony from the West to the East:</em></p><p>What exists to halt the disintegration of the European Union other than NATO and U.S. patronage?</p><p>As the EU Summit commences Wednesday in Brussels, two of Europe&rsquo;s economic hegemons, France and Germany, did not have their traditional mini-summit ahead of the big meeting. New French President Francois Hollande instead chose to meet with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Paris. But if the European Union is to have a future, its mission must look beyond &ldquo;Smart Defense&rdquo; and a &ldquo;Missile Shield&rdquo; and be an organization that unifies its members.</p><p>European history was once described to me as &ldquo;one tribal region battling another tribal region.&rdquo; But there was a respite once: the economic expansion in the Americas, the trans-Atlantic slave trade and colonial unification. This respite unified tribal Europe and sent old world battles to be fought abroad. But in today&rsquo;s post-colonial world, there is no frontier and Europe may be heading back to the tribalism of its past.</p><p>Trends indicate a Europe and America in economic decline. By contrast, Europe&rsquo;s old colonies &ndash;&nbsp; Africa and Asia &ndash; are slowly realizing the wealth of their human capital and natural resources.&nbsp;While these former colonies rise, the European Union has become a contradiction in terms. It can&rsquo;t agree on its boundaries, it can&rsquo;t agree on its members and it won&rsquo;t even pay for its own defense.</p><p>There may be cracks in the wall. In an impassioned plea before the EU Parliament earlier this month, British representative Nigel Farage compared the EU to the Titanic hitting the iceberg. He warned of mass civil unrest, revolution and the re-emergence of Nazism. Farage fears economic disaster could be imminent unless Europe abandons integration. Nigel, a known Euro-skeptic, has been accused of being alarmist. But this time, his comments found resonance with common citizens and became viral on the web. The most iconic moment of his speech came as Farage pointed to the EU&rsquo;s blue flag and said, &quot;I owe no allegiance to that flag, and nor do most of the people in Europe either.&quot;</p><p>Greece&rsquo;s neo-fascist party won seven to eight percent of the vote in recent elections and the country can&rsquo;t seem to form a new coalition government. Neo-fascists and left-wing parties want Greece to follow the British example and return to its sovereign currency, the Drachma. Governments in Spain and other neighbors near economic collapse hear increased cries for a return to sovereign currency. Most troubling is a parallel trend; neo-tribalism fed by increased anti-immigrant fervor.</p><p>Britain&rsquo;s neighbors accused it of &ldquo;tribalism&rdquo; when the country decided to not abandon the British Pound for the Euro. If Europe doesn&rsquo;t get its house in order, the continent will return to tribalism. Past European tribalism was based on human and natural exploitation. The next time around, we don&rsquo;t know.</p><p><em>Robert L. Price is an architect and interior designer based in Shanghai, China. He is Worldview&#39;s arts and architecture contributor and a Global Cities co-contributor. Price also serves as Senior Associate and Technical Director for Asia at <a href="http://www.gensler.com/">Gensler</a>, a global design firm.</em></p></p> Wed, 23 May 2012 10:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/return-european-tribalism-99443 NATO terrorism defendants kept in ‘observation’ cells http://www.wbez.org/news/nato-terrorism-defendants-kept-%E2%80%98observation%E2%80%99-cells-99442 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS5837_AP120519150342-scr_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A spokesman for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says three anti-NATO protesters accused of planning terrorist actions have been held around-the-clock since Saturday in white-walled &ldquo;observation&rdquo; cells, where they are isolated from each other and the rest of the inmate population and kept from writing materials, books and all other media.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s for their own safety and the safety of the [jail] staff and other inmates,&rdquo; the spokesman, Frank Bilecki, said Tuesday afternoon. &ldquo;Obviously we&rsquo;re concerned about their mental status and well-being.&rdquo;</p><p>A medical staff member checks on the three every 15 minutes, Bilecki said. The cells each have one window through which natural light passes and a larger window for the observation, he added.</p><p>Gary Hickerson, acting executive director of the office&rsquo;s Department of Corrections, ordered the observation because the defendants are young and because their charges are serious, Bilecki said. The decision had nothing to do with defendants&rsquo; behavior since arrest, he added.</p><p>The sheriff&rsquo;s spokesman says the State&rsquo;s Attorney&rsquo;s office had no input into the protesters&rsquo; jail conditions.</p><p>But a lawyer for one of the alleged terrorists says the conditions amount to &ldquo;sensory deprivation&rdquo; intended to hamper their defense. &ldquo;This is a way to break someone&rsquo;s spirit and break their ability to cooperate with their attorneys,&rdquo; said the lawyer, Michael Deutsch, who represents Brian Church, 20, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.</p><p>Deutsch complained about the conditions in a court hearing about the case Tuesday afternoon. Defense attorneys said they were &ldquo;negotiating&rdquo; with jail staff members to improve the conditions.</p><p>Those talks may be paying off. Bilecki said the jail was planning to move the three protesters Tuesday evening into the general inmate population.</p><p>Church and the other protesters &mdash; Jared Chase, 27, of Keene, N.H; and Brent Betterly, 24, of Oakland Park, Fla. &mdash; face charges of terrorism conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism, and possession of explosives or incendiary devices. Cook County Judge Edward S. Harmening on Saturday set their bonds at $1.5 million each.</p><p>Authorities accused the trio of possessing Molotov cocktails and planning or proposing attacks on targets including President Barack Obama&rsquo;s campaign headquarters and Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s home. The three were among nine people arrested during a police raid last Wednesday at the South Side apartment of some Occupy Chicago leaders who helped organize protests against the NATO summit.</p><p>Church, Chase and Betterly appeared at Tuesday&rsquo;s hearing in tan jail uniforms but did not speak. Judge Adam D. Bourgeois Jr. granted a request by prosecutors to continue the case until June 12.</p><p>At least two other anti-NATO protesters arrested last week face serious felony charges. Sebastian Senakiewicz, 24, of Chicago is charged with falsely making a terrorist threat. Mark Neiweem, 28, of Chicago is charged with solicitation for explosives or incendiary devices. A judge on Sunday set their bonds at $750,000 and $500,000, respectively.</p><p>Senakiewicz and Neiweem are scheduled for a status hearing Wednesday.</p></p> Tue, 22 May 2012 15:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/nato-terrorism-defendants-kept-%E2%80%98observation%E2%80%99-cells-99442 President shows true leadership in NATO remarks http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/president-shows-true-leadership-nato-remarks-99421 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP120521118295.jpg" style="float: left; height: 371px; width: 300px;" title="President Barack Obama speaks at a news conference at the NATO Summit in Chicago, Monday, May 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)" /></div><p>One thing was clear to me after attending this week&rsquo;s NATO Summit: The event was &ndash; clearly &ndash; not about domestic or international economics. It wasn&#39;t about how to maximize corporate profits. Nor was it about the virtues of private equity firms.</p><p>But at the last press conference on the last day of the summit Monday, the talk went off topic. After a question from a Bloomberg journalist, the conversation veered from security into the murky depths of U.S. domestic politics. President Obama, normally known for his cool, deliberate delivery, seemed to go completely off script, and as a result, gave the most poignant, politically savvy, yet truthful comments I&rsquo;ve heard him give during his political career.</p><p>The journalist in question asked about comments made by Newark Mayor Cory Booker during last Sunday&rsquo;s episode of <em>Meet The Press</em>. Booker referenced campaign ads attacking Mitt Romney&rsquo;s record while he led the private equity firm Bain Capital (the clips claim Romney destroyed working class jobs by the hundreds during his tenure at Bain). &ldquo;This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides,&rdquo; Booker said. &ldquo;Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity.&rdquo;</p><p>Many have questioned Booker&rsquo;s motives, given his history as an Obama supporter and surrogate. Some speculate it&rsquo;s because Booker receives large campaign contributions from private equity firms, including from Bain employees. Booker has since walked back his comments at an Olympic-style pace.</p><p><a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/video/93117787/">In his response</a>, Obama defined what he sees as the president&rsquo;s role. &ldquo;When you are president, as opposed to head of a private equity firm, your job is not to simply maximize profit, but to make sure everyone has a fair shot,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;If your main argument is showing how you can make a lot of money for investors, you don&rsquo;t understand the job of being president.&rdquo;</p><p>I agree with the president wholeheartedly. His job requires him to sit on the world stage and represent his country (and his city) with panache, as he did in his comments.</p><p>I would offer that being president means discussing issues beyond simple tribalism or domestic politics, as his opponents&ndash; or his well-meaning, but misguided supporters &ndash; often do. They have the luxury of such exercise; the president does not. His words and actions are measured against much broader concerns. He must consider those who don&rsquo;t support him as well as those who do. The President of the United States must take into consideration how his words and actions affect the lives and attitudes of people on the other side of the globe, not just those of his base, and certainly not just for the next election cycle. Obama said a president must consider the long-term ramifications of any decision or policy, not just short-term gains. A colleague of mine who sat close by said Obama &ldquo;gave a political answer, but he nailed it.&rdquo;</p><p>I&rsquo;ve had many bosses in my professional career. Most have been good; others, not so good. The great ones created opportunity and order, and provided leadership in my career development. The main thing these managers were judged on was how profitable their projects were. If they did well, they and their team were handsomely rewarded.</p><p>But in spite of their successes, most of the really profitable leaders I worked with either left the firm or were let go. Why? Because they lacked the leadership skills and vision required to move our office into the future.</p><p>The president concluded the press conference Monday by thanking the people of Chicago for dealing with the inconvenience and traffic during the summit, but added it was the price Chicago had to pay for being a world-class city and hosting world-class events like NATO.</p><p>Some of our political leaders need to take a lesson from Obama&rsquo;s press conference Monday to learn what being &ldquo;world-class&rdquo; really means.</p><p><em>Robert L. Price is an architect and interior designer based in Shanghai, China. He is Worldview&#39;s arts and architecture contributor and a Global Cities co-contributor. Price also serves as Senior Associate and Technical Director for Asia at <a href="http://www.gensler.com/">Gensler</a>, a global design firm.</em></p></p> Tue, 22 May 2012 10:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/president-shows-true-leadership-nato-remarks-99421