The Chicago ‘black site’ facility at Homan Square is the focus of protests this weekend as Anonymous and other activist groups protest the unconstitutional abuse that takes place at the warehouse.
In a video posted to Youtube, Anonymous warn Chicago police that their abuse will “not stand”. In the video Anonymous call other protestors to meet at Homan Square, saying:
A message to the Chicago Police department. We are Anonymous.
Be very wary of the month of February.
We have become aware of your off-the-books interrogation program. For those who don’t know this compound in Homan Square square is where Brian Jacob Church, a protestor known as one of the nato 3, was held and questioned.
Officers restrained Church for the better part of a day, denying him access to an attorney before sending him to a nearby police station to be booked and charged.
Three other men have also claimed they were held inside Homan Square where they say they were handcuffed by both wrists with their arms spread.
One says he was punched in the face while in this position before an officer stepped on his groin like he was putting a cigarette out.
At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square interview room and later pronounced dead.
On february 2nd 2013 John Hubbard was taken to Homan square. Hubbard never walked out. He was murdered.
Chicago police we are aware of your shady work with keeping arrestees out of booking databases, beating civilians resulting in head wounds, shackling people for prolonged periods of time, denying attorneys access to the supposed secure facility and even holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours including people as young as 15.
This will not stand.
To make matters even worse we have become aware of raids on Anonymous members homes by police, all without warrants I might add.
This is a call to all Anons from Chicago and surrounding areas. On february 28th at 3pm protest at this ‘black site’.
As for you Chicago police, just remember Anonymous is the same group that fights ISIS and Al Qaida.
We do not fear those who are savages who behead people. Keep that in mind.
This ends now.
We were born with the right to due process and this is a right we should not have to give up.
The Guardian report:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the former top adviser to Barack Obama suddenly facing a runoff for re-election, remained at the political fulcrum of a mounting campaign both on social media and the streets of Chicago, where demonstrations were planned for Saturday outside what coordinated campaigners described as mirroring a CIA “black site”.
Organizer Travis McDermott said Saturday’s “Shut Down Homan Square” protest was one of several being planned as far away as Los Angeles.
“Hopefully with the presence we expect to have, that will put a little bit of pressure to say, ‘Hey, look – this isn’t going to go away,’” he said.
On Friday night, campaigners associated with the Occupy and Anonymous collectives took to Twitter, Instagram and other social-media platforms with the hashtag #Gitmo2Chicago to decry allegations of what users alternatively labeled as a “secret prison” and “torture soon coming to a city near you”.
Six people and multiple Chicago attorneys came forward to the Guardian this week with detailed accounts of police holding suspects and witnesses for sustained periods of detention inside Homan Square, without public records, access to attorneys or being read their most basic rights – involving what they said included shackling, physical abuse and being “disappeared” from legal counsel and family. The Guardian’s recent investigation into Chicago police brutality began the week before, with a two-part account of the tactics of Detective Richard Zuley, who went from Chicago homicide investigator to Guantánamo Bay torturer.
The Chicago police department, in its only official statement on the swirling allegations, denied the Guardian’s reporting on Tuesday, without giving specifics. In a report on the Guardian’s reporting published on Friday night, the Chicago Tribune characterized local attorneys’ perception of the statement as “laughable”.
Local and national organizers, meanwhile, have zeroed in on Emanuel, who on Thursday night – two days after being forced into an extended campaign in which policing has been a major issue – made his first statements about the Homan Square row.
“That’s not true,” Emanuel said of the Guardian’s reporting, on the local public television program Chicago Tonight. “We follow the rules.”
Emanuel has not responded to detailed questions from the Guardian, sent on Wednesday. Another set of questions sent on Friday, requesting comment on human-rights group requests for access to the site and an elaboration of Emanuel’s comments on Homan Square, did not receive a response despite repeated requests.
Emanuel’s press office has been directing queries on Homan Square to the mayor’s deputy director of communications, Adam Collins.
A representative for Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Emanuel’s challenger in the runoff election, said his campaign was planning to address the Homan Square allegations soon.
— Global Revolution TV (@GlobalRevLive) February 28, 2015
Protesters on the ground and online weren’t wasting any time.
The activist group Progress Illinois said several more people were expected to tell their stories of being detained at the west-side holding and interrogation compound at Saturday’s protest.
“This rally is being organized to remind the mayor and every politician who has a stake in this runoff that they are answerable to the people,” the group wrote in a statement.
Representatives from the Chicago branch of Black Lives Matter, the movement closely associated with the killings of Trayvon Martin in Florida and Michael Brown in Missouri, said they were backing the Homan Square demonstrations as part of a pattern of long-time Chicago police violence.
“In order to uproot the systemic embedded abuse that has allowed for the creation of such ‘black sites’ like that of Homan Square as well as police torturers like that of Jon Burge, transparent and persistent investigation is the first step of many,” a statement attributed to the group read.
Local civil-rights groups have long sought reparations relating to the notorious practices of Burge, the former Chicago police commander who was released from home custody this month and is estimated to have cost the city upwards of $100m stemming from settlements and judgments in civil-rights cases.
A second demonstration – promoted on Facebook with the title “Reparations Not Black Sites” – was set for Monday evening near Emanuel’s office and endorsed by Black Lives Matter Chicago, which was seeking “unrestricted access” to Homan Square.
Another event, in Los Angeles on Sunday, cited the Guardian’s reporting as a spark for further action.
“Some fear this may be a ripple effect,” the event’s Facebook page read, “caused by the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows local police departments as well as the US military to detain Americans indefinitely should the state label you a ‘homegrown terrorist’.”
Politicians from Washington to Chicago called for inquiries by the US justice department and Emanuel’s office into the allegations at Homan Square after the Guardian’s investigation surfaced earlier this week.
The local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) told the Guardian on Friday that it was still “vetting” allegations as more people came forward to both the Guardian and the Intercept late this week.
“Right now what we are looking to do is establish credibility by getting others who have been affected, and the protest will allow for others to come forward,” said Chicago attorney Billy Mills, who said he found the Chicago police statement on Homan Square to be “vague” and “missing specific details”.