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Outlawing dissent: Rahm Emanuel's new regime

It's almost as if Rahm Emanuel was lifting a page from Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine – as if he was reading her account of Milton Friedman's "Chicago Boys" as a cookbook recipe, rather than as the ominous episode that it was. In record time, Emanuel successfully exploited the fact that Chicago will host the upcoming G8 and Nato summit meetings to increase his police powers and extend police surveillance, to outsource city services and privatize financial gains, and to make permanent new limitations on political dissent. It all happened – very rapidly and without time for dissent – with the passage of rushed security and anti-protest measures adopted by the city council on 18 January 2012....

Emanuel just gave himself the power to marshal and deputize – I kid you not, look at page 3 – the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), and the entire United States Department of Justice (DOJ); as well as state police (the Illinois department of state police and the Illinois attorney general), county law enforcement (State's Attorney of Cook County), and any "other law enforcement agencies determined by the superintendent of police to be necessary for the fulfillment of law enforcement functions".As one commentator suggests, the final catch-all allows Emanuel to hire "anyone he wants, be they rent-a-cops, Blackwater goons on domestic duty, or whatever. For a city that has great problems keeping its directly sworn officers in check, this looser authority is an even greater license for abuse."...

Step 3: privatize the profits and socialize the costs. In Chicago, that translates into Emanuel outsourcing city services to private enterprises, but making sure the public will indemnify those private companies from future law suits. This is a two-part dance with which we have become all too familiar....

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