Bringing It All Back Home: Occupied Chicago is America’s New Normal
BY CHRIS FLOYD
MONDAY, 21 MAY 2012
Gary Younge and Bernard Harcourt have good pieces in the Guardian about the “new normal” of America’s militarized society, as exemplified by armed occupation of Chicago by a staggering array of “security” forces.
Younge notes the bitter irony of the word “security” in a city where the poor are being subjected to ever-increasing levels of violence both from private predators and public “protectors”:
The dissonance between the global pretensions of the summit this weekend and the local realities of Chicago could not be more striking. Nato claims its purpose is to secure peace through security; in much of Chicago neither exists.
… The murder rate in Chicago in the first three months of this year increased by more than 50% compared with the same period last year, giving it almost twice the murder rate of New York. And the manner in which the city is policed gives many as great a reason to fear those charged with protecting them as the criminals. By the end of July last year police were shooting people at the rate of six a month and killing one person a fortnight.
This violence, be it at the hands of the state or gangs, is both compounded and underpinned by racial and economic disadvantage. The poorer the neighbourhood the more violent, the wealthier the safer. This is no coincidence. Much like the Nato summit – and the G8 summit that preceded it – the system is set up not to spread wealth but to preserve and protect it, not to relieve chaos but to contain and punish it.