Occupy Chicago’s presence in the financial district may seem to have quieted down a bit from the circus show it was earlier this fall, but organizers in the group are just beginning to put the pieces in place to continue their assault on America. The revolutionaries have identified a desirable piece of real estate for their new headquarters where the movement leaders will be able to thrive during the cold months ahead as they finalize plans to disrupt the G-8/NATO summits in Chicago this spring.
Occupy Chicago’s New Lair
The Occupy leaders could not have found a more perfect location to occupy. A loft warehouse just far enough off the beaten path, yet close enough to the city’s financial district to continue their strategizing.
The property is located at 500 W. Cermak on Chicago’s near-south side. It also happens to be conveniently nestled in the middle of a heavy industry zone under union cover, and sits just across a bridge over the Chicago River from one of their friendly allies, the International Union of Operating Engineers-Local 399.
OccupyChi.org‘s housing page reveals that the proposed location will serve as a “Winter Base of Operations.” Rental prices for the units in consideration range from $2,400- $3,100 per month, and include kitchens and bathrooms–one of which even has a Jacuzzi tub! (Hopefully the Jacuzzi gets some use, along with some soap, of course.) The “grassroots” group plans to “occupy” two lofts in the building to start off, covering the $5,500-a-month rent with a portion of the $25,000 cash they raised in addition to the $3,000-a-month housing contribution scored from an unnamed, nonpolitical/celebrity donor they refer to as “Benefactor X.”
They plan to use the first loft to serve their various committees’ organizational purposes and the other as a location for general assemblies and group meetings, etc. The group claims that, according to the fire marshal, the space is sufficient to accommodate up to 622 “occupiers,” with the option to secure additional space to occupy as the group grows. According to the group’s website, the management at Riverfront Work Lofts is welcoming them with open arms. It remains unclear whether the other tenants will also welcome the banging bongos and pot smoke while trying to work.
So why would a movement that has dwindled down to a couple handfuls of people, at best, in the daily protest of the financial district, need a giant warehouse loft for $5,500-a-month–with room to grow–as a “base for operations?”
If you take a look at a map, it’s not that hard to figure out. The proposed location is just about a fifteen-minute walk through Chinatown to the McCormick Place Convention Center–home of the 2012 G-8/NATO Summits.
Planting the Seeds for an Un-American “Spring”
The American public’s patience has justifiably worn thin after months of Occupy’s childish standoffs with police, vitriolic hate-filled sound bytes, excessive violence, sexual assaults, rampant anti-semitism, and other well-documented illegal activity. This, coupled with a severe dwindling of their numbers, doesn’t add up to the requirement of such a massive space–not to mention one with “room to grow.” Yet all signs indicate the hardcore radicals are not going away, and, as suspected, this past fall’s demonstrations were only a precursor of what’s to come.
Despite Occupiers’ claims that they would last the winter in their tents pitched on ice-cold concrete, it’s no surprise that the movement has been forced to move inside with the reality of winter’s onset. Nevertheless, they accomplished what they needed in the fall, from the experience that comes from practice run-ins with police, the building of networks and databases, and establishment of concrete lines of authority, to training anyone who is not a “leader” to fall in line (ex.: the group sing and group think during their hypnotic general assembly meetings). With the necessary infrastructure built, and the acquisition of a base this grand, Occupy Chicago appears to be pushing ahead with the larger goals of the entire movement.
The G-8/NATO Summits now appear to be the Occupiers’ prime target. As we have reported in the past, Chicago’s top anti-war organizers began planning massive demonstrations against the upcoming G-8/NATO Summits as early as last spring, when Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he was bringing them to the Windy City in May 2012.
“Coincidently” Andy Thayer and Joe Iosbaker, two key figures in the planning of these upcoming demonstrations, led an invasionof City Hall in October with a parade of Occupiers to demand protest permits for the summits. (Video of Occupy City Hall) Thayer is the founder of the Gay Liberation Network and a longtime radical anti-war activist, and Iosbaker is currently under investigation by the FBI after his home was raided by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in September 2010. Suspected of providing materiel support to foreign terror networks such as HAMAS and the Colombian F.A.R.C guerillas, Iosbaker is currently facing up to fifteen years in prison.
Top level radical-organizer Lisa Fithian, who played a significant roll in the violent chaos at the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, Washington, has also been intimately involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially in Chicago. In October she was a key player in organizing five large protest marches, which fed into one massive protest outside a Mortgage Bankers’ Association dinner at the Art Institute of Chicago. Fithian is a specialist in bringing together massive groups of useful idiots and coordinating chaos to show mass solidarity between different groups of left-wing radicals. She was also responsible for producing the “arrestables” (the useful idiots pre-designated for arrest during a protest) from the Teachers’ Union on the day of the Chicago marches. (Video here)
Now that the Occupy Wall Street movement has gone through its training runs in multiple cities and had its lessons in “nonviolent-direct action” from the likes of Bill Ayers and other radicals–the stage is set. We covered Ayers leading a “teach-in” at Occupy Chicago, a radical curriculum he has exported to Occupy groups around the country. Ayers acknowledged–in his own words at his Occupy Chicago teach-in–that October’s interactions between the Chicago police and the Occupiers were in fact dry-runs in preparation for May. It is no leap, then, to conclude from Ayers’s comments that the protests were a dry run for the overall movement itself.
No Hibernating for Radical Revolutionaries
The winter will provide time for the real brains behind the movement to analyze the reactions from the police and the Mayor, and draw up their battle plans to create chaos amidst the “global financiers” at the G-8 and the “war-profiteers” of NATO. These two greatest enemies of the Occupiers, in May, will combine into one perfect target: “banking war-mongers.”
Then we will get to see thousands of opportunistic Occupiers “protesting peacefully” as they taunt the Chicago Police Department while chanting “the whole world is watching” and egg them on into “unnecessary violence and excessive force,” all the while attempting to convey the perception, through their media allies, that they are simply peace activists exercising their First Amendment rights.
While a smattering of Occupy protests are cropping up in random cities across the country, there is an eerie quiet from the protesters in Chicago, the heart of the progressive America. While they protested the shutting down of their tent city on Michigan Avenue and the so-called “unjust” arrests of their comrades in October, they certainly did not put up the same fight seen elsewhere in the country. Now that their numbers have dwindled outside the Federal Reserve on LaSalle and Jackson, the public has been lulled into a false confidence that the Occupy momentum is gone and their movement is dying.
But while all is quiet under the gray sky of Chicago’s bitter cold winter, there is movement in their ranks. As the Occupiers themselves said in October, “that was only the beginning.” This is a movement led by cunning radicals and professional organizers, skilled in their ability to divert attention from the real picture, with a clear understanding that this is their moment to seize.
Creating a massive new headquarters couldn’t be a clearer sign of much grander plans quietly underway in Chicago, “the belly of the beast.”
Click to see more interior photos of the Occupiers’ future home.