In August, I reported on protests at the 40th anniversary gathering of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a branch of the corporate shadow government which writes laws like Stand Your Ground and then pays off puppet legislators to make their bills into law. On August 8, Chicago Police, led by white-shirted commanding officers, brutalized nonviolent protestors after a union-sponsored rally.
Police arrested six protestors, but all charges have been dropped because police declined to appear in court yesterday.
When I reconnected with Maddie, a member of Occupy Chicago that I interviewed after her arrest, it was clear the news came as a relief. “Court was a nerve-wracking experience. Fortunately the cops didn’t show up, and the cases were dropped. The support that was shown to all of us throughout all of this has been incredible, and I want to thank everyone.”
The arrest hasn’t kept Maddie from continued activism. “I’m also working on a team called Planet Hope. We offer crisis intervention online, whether it is activist legal stuff, or deppression and suicide.” You can follow Planet Hope on Twitter and Maddie says a website is coming soon.
This experience has strengthened my beliefs that the system we are living under needs to drastically change. Based on the brutal response of police, it is evident that this change is already happening.
Maddie asked me to encourage my readers to write to political prisoners. “Not all activists get their charges dropped!” Operation Pen Pal maintains a lengthy list of prisoners and tips for what to write or send.
Photo by Justin Carlson, used with permission.