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 Wheels. 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.
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