Bringing It All Back Home: Occupied Chicago is America’s New Normal
2012-05-25 0:00

By Chris Floyd | Empire Burlesque

Gary Younge and Bernard Harcourt have good pieces in the Guardian about the "new normal" of America’s militarized society, as exemplified by armed occupation of Chicago by a staggering array of "security" forces.

A protester lies detained after clashing with police during the start of the NATO Summit in Chicago May 20, 2012. Baton-swinging police officers clashed with anti-war protesters at the start of the NATO summit on Sunday, beating some and dragging others away.
Photograph by: Adrees Latif, REUTERS

Younge notes the bitter irony of the word "security" in a city where the poor are being subjected to ever-increasing levels of violence both from private predators and public "protectors":

The dissonance between the global pretensions of the summit this weekend and the local realities of Chicago could not be more striking. Nato claims its purpose is to secure peace through security; in much of Chicago neither exists.

… The murder rate in Chicago in the first three months of this year increased by more than 50% compared with the same period last year, giving it almost twice the murder rate of New York. And the manner in which the city is policed gives many as great a reason to fear those charged with protecting them as the criminals. By the end of July last year police were shooting people at the rate of six a month and killing one person a fortnight.


Chicago illustrates how the developing world is everywhere, not least in the heart of the developed. The mortality rate for black infants in the city is on a par with the West Bank; black life expectancy in Illinois is just below Egypt and just above Uzbekistan. More than a quarter of Chicagoans have no health insurance, one in five black male Chicagoans are unemployed and one in three live in poverty. Latinos do not fare much better.


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