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#NoALEC Chicago Visit Recap

Posted in Life

Chicago Anon at Palmer House - Kit OConnell
Activists including members of The Chicago Anonymous and Occupy Chicago march on the Palmer House Hotel against ALEC, August 7 2013.

I visited Chicago at the beginning of the month to cover protests against the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate shadow government which writes legislation — such as Stand Your Ground or the recent attack on women’s reproductive rights in Texas & elsewhere — then puppet legislators in various states introduce the new laws unchanged. They also support the attack on unions, public health care options, the privatization of education and prisons and more.

Though organizers had advertised three days of action against ALEC, the reality was sparser — during the three-day conference there were two short protests, along with an additional Moral Monday action and a light brigade display. This disappointed some comrades of mine who arrived later in the week to join the action, only to find little happening.

I still enjoyed bringing the fight from Texas to Chicago, and it was important to be there to witness the police brutality against protestors. I treasured the opportunity to attend a protest with my mother, Christina @Siun O’Connell. She raised me to be an activist, but I hadn’t been able to protest with her since I was a kid. She’s as fierce as ever. I only wish I had video footage of her verbally taking the police to task for their violent behavior.

I always love visiting Chicago, for its food, its music, its architecture. And no visit to Chicago is complete without a shopping trip to the Spice House and the Green City Market.

Highlights of my latest Chicago trip:

My coverage of activism and uprising are livetweeted, as always, on @KitOConnell. If you like my gonzo journalism, please consider a small donation to my WePay.