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Occupy groups urge defeat of proposed law

Jan. 9, 2012 at 11:21 AM   |   Comments

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CHICAGO, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Two Chicago-area Occupy protest groups warned city aldermen that supporting Mayor Rahm Emanuel's "Sit Down and Shut Up" ordinance will be met with resistance.

"Questions abound regarding 'Sit Down and Shut Up,' both of its actual scope and the veracity of Mayor Emanuel's incomplete and misleading presentation of it," Occupy the South Side and Occupy Rogers Park said in a news release.

The two groups urged all 50 aldermen to sign an attached pledge that rejects "this errant legislation."

Emanuel is urging that the measure be passed quickly, continuing "the sordid tradition of rushing flawed legislation that has greatly damaged the welfare of our city," the two Occupy groups said.

The vote is scheduled for Jan. 18.

"It is difficult to overstate the contrast between celebrating the life and work of [civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.] on Monday and codifying the suppression of dissent on Wednesday [Jan 18]," a letter to aldermen said.

The organizations said they were specifically concerned about amending the city code for "controlling protesters" in advance of NATO and Group of 8 summits.

The letter said the change covers the entire city, when the summits are only downtown, and has other inconsistencies as well.

"Given what the ordinance actually says, it cannot be construed as an effort to protect the integrity of G8 and NATO conferences," the letter read. "This measure is a permanent attack on public protest in the city of Chicago" and has far-reaching consequences.

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