Stop the War on the People!

    The Chicago People's Convention Coalition (CPCC) organized a Monday,
August 26th early morning rally to make several broad demands of the
Democratic Party and the government. Peace, human rights, equality,
democracy, saving the environment, putting people before profits, and
honoring indigenous peoples' treaty rights, were the Coalition's primary
demands. Defending the Bill of Rights and transferring resources away from
the military and prison systems, and redirecting support to human needs were
also stated objectives. 

A small group of protesters gathered at the Michigan Ave. & Balbo , Grant
Park site located across the street from the Hilton Hotel where much
police brutality occurred during the 1968 convention.  Representatives of
several activist organizations mounted a stage erected by the City of
Chicago to speak to the assembled. They discussed current problems
including the new welfare cutbacks, repression and economic problems. 
They railed against Clinton's recent actions weakening environmental
protections and selling off of the country's natural resources.  They
condemned the continuing U.S. political and military interventions in
other nations. A report was also given on the McLibel case, an
unsuccessful suit brought by McDonalds against British activists who
leafletted information about the "food" chain's exploitive,
anti-environmental policies. Andrew Hoffman, son of Abbie, carried on the
tradition of struggle for the oppressed and encouraged the crowd to work
for a better world, sharing his experiences with America's Soup Kitchen on

    At noon they stepped away from the stage area to make way for the next
scheduled protest group. Twenty first Century Vote marched in for their
time slot to rally against police brutality and the CPCC group cheered and
marched off.  They stopped at General Logan's statue for a photo opportunity
then marched up Michigan Avenue led by a man in a Bill Clinton mask
wearing an anti-McDonalds t-shirt and a woman in a Hillary Clinton mask
wearing no shirt. They went through the business district chanting "Stop the
War on the Poor, Stop the War on the People" and similar slogans. 

    The march stopped at the State of Illinois building to support the
labor rally "America Needs a Raise" that was just ending. Police had been
accompanying the march the whole time, but at this moment decided to
arrest the topless "Hillary Clinton". A meelee ensued as people demanded
her freedom and got in the way of the arresting officers. Minor injuries
resulted, including one newsman landing on his head, and one being clubbed
in the chest. 

    The march then proceeded to the United Center where police tried
unsucessfully to get people to go into the "protest pen". The marchers
opted instead to stay in the open and wrapped up with a few more strident
speeches, including one notable assertion by Dana Beal of Cures not Wars
that the government is suppressing the testing of Ibogaine, an African
plant that researchers say can heal withdrawal symptoms for heroin,
crack, alchohol and tobacco with one application.

This news alert issued by CounterMedia, a coalition of political organizations, media groups and individuals dedicated to providing alternative coverage of the Democratic National Convention and community struggle in Chicago.
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