Occupy NATO! Shut Down the Corporations!
As Mayor Emmanuel and the Secret Service prepare for the arrival of the NATO delegates, turning downtown Chicago into an extra-constitutional “secutrity” zone, activists from around the country as well as local Chicago community members and organizers have been ramping up the resistance and preparing for the mass mobilizations planned for this coming weekend. The organizations and issue focuses vary, but the general message is crystal clear: capitalism is not working (at least not for the 99% of us), our political system is a sham, and NATO is a war machine driven by the interests of transnational corporations and weapons manufacturers (such as Boeing, whose headquarters just happen to be in downtown chicago). As usual, Seeds of Peace is here to make sure everyone if fed and to assist with other logistical and organizational planning.
Although the NATO summit has yet to commence, we have been extremely busy these past two weeks, providing food for May Day, the Peoples Summit and the Spreading the Health Conference, in addition to securing a kitchen site, attending spokescouncil and other organizational meetings, and procuring massive quantities of bulk food and produce. The blogosphere has been on the back burner, mostly because we are working 16 hours a day on average, but here is a quick recap of the past two weeks:
(We were also featured in the Chicago Tribune. Check it out)
On May 1 Seeds of Peace, in collaboration with two local Food Not Bombs chapters, prepared about 1600 burritos for marchers at the Chicago Mayday mobilization. The rally started at Union Park where we handed out burritos and fruit and served hot tea and coffee. The size of the crowd peaked somewhere around 2500 and marched down to Liberty Plaza. Compared to other Mayday happenings around the country, it was pretty mild here in Chicago. We hauled food equipment around several downtown blocks, in the midst of hundreds of police, but had no issues.
SPREADING THE HEALTH MEDIC CONFERENCE:
Beginning on May 4, the Spreading the Health Summit brought together experienced street medics, herbalists, body workers and healers for a week of skill sharing, trainings and networking. Seeds was there for the entirety of the conference, providing food and sitting in on workshops. The hardest part about the summit was having to move the kitchen three times, which deprived us of sleep on a regular basis, but after resting up for a day, we’re ready to hit the streets.
THE PEOPLE’S SUMMIT:
Billed as a counter summit to the NATO gathering this coming weekend, the People’s Summit offered workshops, speakers and some big name entertainment. In the midst of supporting the Health conference AND moving the kitchen, Seeds was able to feed the 300 or so summit participants three meals a day for two days. It was exhausting, and our involvement beyond food support was next to nothing, but we’re glad to have been able to support this important convergence.
*******WHAT’S NEXT / WHERE and WHEN TO GET FOOD*********
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From now until Monday we will be serving dinner at the convergence space (located at the United Church of Christ at 615 W. Wellington Ave.) at 5:00 pm for all the folks going to trainings and attending the spokescouncil meetings.
Today (Thursday, May 17), we are providing mobile food support for the critical mass bike ride heading to the Canadian Consulate to demonstrate against the government’s collusion with Big Oil interests and the opening up of un-ceded native territory to the horrendous practice of tar sands oil extraction. We will also be providing snacks and coffee to the hundreds of people arriving on the Nurses United busses that get to town this evening.
Friday, May 18, we will be serving lunch at 12:00 noon for the National Nurses United Rally to Protest the Global 1% at Daley Plaza.
Saturday, May 19: To be determined
Sunday, May 20, We are serving lunch at 12:00 noon for the main day of mass action sponsored by the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda. More information at http://cang8.wordpress.com/
We will also be providing food for the Occupy the South Side action. Details TBA.
Monday, May 21, we are serving food on-the-go for the day of action against Boeing. Details TBA