Organized by Anonymous, Occupy, and Black Lives Matter, as well as a number of other groups, the 'Shut Down Homan Square' protest gathered around 200 people outside the detention facility in the city’s West Side.
Braving Saturday's below-zero temperatures, the activists held banners and chanted slogans such as "Shut it down" and "Freedom first," as well as "Indict, convict, send the torturers to jail.” They demanded a probe and changes at the facility after a report in the Guardian claimed it is used by Chicago police as a “secret interrogation facility.”
“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,’” said Travis McDermott, one of the organizers of the protest, as quoted by the Guardian.
Later, dozens of protesters marched through nearby streets.
During Saturday's demonstration, organizers called on people to come forward if their rights have ever been violated by police.
"We need you to come forth and tell us yes you have been a victim of abuse," one organizer said, according to USA Today. "Please come forward and let the people know so we can take some action."
Anonymous took to Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms with the hashtag #Gitmo2Chicago to draw attention to the so-called secret prison. “Torture soon coming to a city near you,” it stated.
“This will not stand,” the collective said in a video message posted on February 27.
— Chicago WCW (@ChicagoWCW) February 28, 2015
According to the Guardian’s report, the compound houses military-style vehicles, interrogation cells, and a cage. People have “disappeared there” for 12-15 hours before being arraigned.
The newspaper spoke to an alleged former suspect at the site and several local attorneys who reported the Homan Square compound was being used to deny people their Fifth Amendment right to due process and Sixth Amendment right to an attorney.
Protesting on Saturday, activists demanded that anyone arrested in Chicago to be “booked immediately upon arrest and given access to a phone with which they can call an attorney.”
One of the major demands is “a special meeting be called within 10 days.” It would “allow the public to ask questions of supervising CPD officers about what happens inside Homan Square and other facilities.”
— Chicago Mayor (@RahmAntics) February 28, 2015
According to an announcement on Facebook, the group has formally submitted the request, urging for it to be approved “immediately.”
Activists also demand that posters informing people of their rights be placed at all Chicago Police Department facilities.
"Everything that happens in this facility is off the books, so they can't prove that these things never happened," McDermott said.
In its only official statement, the Chicago Police Department denied the Guardian’s allegations.
Speaking to Chicago Tonight TV program, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the report was not true. “We follow the rules,” he said.
Activists are planning another demonstration, dubbed 'Reparations Not Black Sites,' which will be held outside Emanuel’s office on March 2.
The ABA is a trade association for the American banking industry, which involves itself in several issues that affect the industry, including lobbying. The CSBS is an American organization of banking regulators from all 50 states, with a goal to advance the quality and effectiveness of regulation, consumer protection and other duties. Both ABA and CSBS are more than 100 years old and have a considerable influence in their respective areas.
The ABA made the case that even though the virtual currency economy doesn\'t feed directly through the traditional payments systems, as its usage grows, it will become more inter-linked to our traditional payments systems and failures could have a system-wide consequence, mentioning how the failure of Mt. Gox meant a fall in value of Bitcoin. To overcome these challenges, the ABA has proposed a licensing approach to regulation, which was also the approach taken by Ben Lawsky in designing the so-called ‘BitLicense\' regulatory framework for New York based businesses and businesses operating in New York.
The ABA also proposed areas that these regulations should target – consumer protection, security, creating a level playing field for all businesses in the space and meeting consumer and business needs. The ABA argues that the same level of consumer expectations, like disputing a charge, should apply to all payments system, and that for the consumers to have enough faith in the system to continue using it, the payment systems need to be subject to sufficient government oversight.
The ABA is also concerned about some states going ahead and creating their own licensing requirements that might differ from other states. Ultimately, the ABA wants a uniform national standard that can be adopted by states, so that virtual currency operators can easily comply with regulations in multiple states.
For monitoring and sharing information, the ABA has proposed creating a national database with the ability to share licensing and enforcement data in real time. The ABA says it wants to follow the model of Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System, which is a registry of mortgage brokers and originators that was launched in 2008. The ABA believes the creation of such a database and information-sharing mechanism will allow regulators to easily verify the status of a business in other states and allow consumers to check that a business is actually registered before doing business with it.
Notably, the ABA wants virtual currency businesses to fully comply with BSA/AML/KYC requirements at the same level as the banks, and ensure that regulated banks are not subject to new regulations. The justification given for this is that banks are already subject to extensive regulation and oversight, and subjecting banks to duplicate regulations would divert the bank\'s resources while providing no extra consumer protection.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
“In order to protect our country...I have decided to implement a system of compulsory visas for all Americans entering Venezuela,” Maduro said in a speech on Saturday.
This is a reciprocal measure and now all Americans will have to pay tourist visa fees equal to what “a Venezuelan pays to travel to the US.”
When announcing the new regulations for US tourists, Maduro said that Venezuela apprehended American citizens who were involved in “espionage activities.”
“We have captured some US citizens in undercover activities, espionage, trying to win over people in towns along the Venezuelan coast,” he said.
A group of four missionaries had been called in for questioning after participating in a medical assistance campaign in the coastal town of Ocumare de la Costa, the head of a Venezuelan evangelical organization said on Friday.
The four had reportedly left the country for Aruba after having been questioned.
Maduro also said that Venezuela captured a US pilot of Latin American descent in the western state of Tachira, who he claims was also conducting “covert” espionage activities.
At the same time, Maduro asked to review and reduce the number of US diplomatic staff in the country, after allegations of “conspiratorial meetings” against Venezuela.
“I've thought about it…First I have ordered the Foreign Ministry...to proceed immediately, to review...[and] limit the number of officials at the [US] embassy in Venezuela,” Maduro said. “They have 100 staff, we have 17.”
He added that former US President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and Republican Congress members Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Robert Menendez, and Marco Rubio will be denied visas into the country, labeling Bush and Cheney as “terrorists.”
The visa bans, Maduro said, target those who “violated human rights and bombed villages as in Iraq, Syria and Vietnam.”
From now on, US diplomats will be required to seek approval from the Foreign Ministry for meetings they conduct in Venezuela.
The new law is designed to help “control” US interference, the president stressed.
Tense relations between Venezuela and the US reached a new level of intensity earlier in February, when Maduro accused America of being behind the attempted coup in Venezuela.
“The northern imperial power has entered a dangerous phase of desperation, going to talk to the continent's governments to announce the overthrow of my government. And I accuse Vice President Joe Biden of this,” Maduro said.
The allegations were made amid widespread protests in the country in the first half of 2014, triggered by high levels of inflation, mass power cuts, and a lack of basic goods. Demonstrators demanded Maduro’s resignation amid an economic crisis that was hitting the food sector the most.
Later in February, Venezuela’s leader announced that the country successfully defeated an alleged US-sponsored coup, adding that a plot involved an attack on the presidential palace or another top target, Maduro said.
Prior to that, Maduro claimed at the end of 2014 that there were “recordings” disclosing the US plan to bribe and corrupt Venezuelan authorities.
Washington and Caracas have been at odds with each other since Venezuela's iconic former leader Hugo Chavez came to power in 2000. Previously, the US had been accused of trying to undermine the Venezuelan government in 2002, when a coup saw Chavez ousted from office for 47 hours before order was restored.
When a month ago we basked in the glow of what we dubbed the “Waiter and Bartender Recovery“, highlighting that while the US is about to see the best performing, highest paid job sector in the last decade, i.e., those […]
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