Rahm “temporarly” forgot he’s a megalomaniac control freak

Parents, teachers, students, look out. Anyone daring to speak out in Chicago against school closings and the like may soon feel the wrath of the Tiny Dictator, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Before his “unbelievably good” winter vacation to Chile and Argentina (no doubt to commune with the spirits of Pinochet and Peron), Mayor Rahm announced his plan to control the unruly masses during the May NATO/G-8 meetings here in Chicago, characterizing the rules as “temporary measures.”

According to the Tribune, Emanuel’s proposed new rules would “double the maximum fine to $1,000 for protestors charged with resisting or obstructing a police officer, as well as those helping protestors escape custody. The minimum fine would soar to $200 — a $175 increase. The duration of demonstrations would be reduced by 15 minutes to exactly two hours.”

The Sun-Times quotes local activist Andy Thayer adding “Every single protest in the downtown area would be considered a ‘major parade’ with a whole series of ridiculous stipulations. Every single piece of sound equipment would need to be registered with the city a week in advance…. They are also insisting on a full lineup of [participants] a week in advance.”

The rules would clearly have an impact on any school closing protest, teachers union contract action, etc.

Rahm now claims he meant to say that only the blanket spending authority for the meetings would be temporary while the harsh restrictions on and penalties for dissent are to be permanent.

Here’s the Sun-Times report: “That’s not what the mayor said last month when he introduced the changes at a City Council meeting. At that time, he emphatically stated that the changes he sought were ‘temporary,’ ‘one-time only’ and ‘just for this conference.’

“I made a mistake. Real simple, OK? I thought when I answered the question, I was answering the question about contracting, OK? So, if I made a mistake, I bear the responsibililty,” the mayor said.

Right.

Of course, the rules must be approved by City Council. Let’s make sure our aldermen know we will be watching them.

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Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.