Scene from 1999 WTO protests in Seattle
A slew of extremist organizations, some tied to President Obama, are preparing protests to coincide with major NATO and G-8 summits in Chicago next May.
Foreshadowing possible violent confrontations, some of the same radical trainers behind the infamous 1999 Seattle riots against the World Trade Organization have been mobilizing new protest efforts geared toward world summits as well as the current economic crisis.
The founders of a radical group that teaches tactics of direct action, confrontation and intimidation were among the main speakers at a major union convention in June at which one leader called for opposing “right-wing threats to dismantle the Middle Class.”
The group was involved in planning the 1999 WTO riots.
Meanwhile, it was announced in June that Chicago would host NATO and G-8 summits next spring. The decision followed an intense lobbying effort by the city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff.
Chicago will be the first American city other than Washington to host a NATO gathering.
The summit, May 15-22, is slated to coincide with a meeting of the Group of Eight industrialized nations, or G-8, convening to focus on global economic issues, the White House said.
It will be the first time since 1977, in London, that the two organizations held meetings in the same city at the same time.
Such meetings have drawn mass protests that turned violent.
The 1999 WTO event in Seattle devolved into widespread rioting in which more than 40,000 protesters, some using violent tactics, descended on the city, prompting police to use tear gas and rubber bullets. The clash became known as “The Battle of Seattle.”
The G-8 summit has similarly drawn violent protests.
A 2001 riot at a G-8 meeting in Genoa, Italy, left one person dead and hundreds injured. Also, in the run up to a G-20 economic summit in Pittsburgh in 2009, police reportedly fired pepper spray at marchers who threw rocks and garbage.
Preparing for such outbreaks, the Chicago Sun-Times last month quoted Superintendent of Police Garry McCarthy saying he was prepping 13,000 officers under his command for mass arrests of protestors.
“We have to train for mass arrests,” McCarthy said. “We have to train 13,000 police officers in arrest procedures and containment procedures. At the same time, we will not stop patrolling the city.”
In response, radical groups held a press conference Friday in downtown Chicago demanding permits to march during the world summits in May.
Joe Iosbaker of the United National Antiwar Committee, one of the groups planning protests, warned, “The wars and economic policies of the NATO and G8 nations are not just and will be met by protest.”
Iosbaker is a University of Illinois-Chicago office worker and a union steward for his SEIU local whose home was raided by the FBI last September reportedly as part of a terror probe investigating material support for jihadist groups.
Obama has ties to many of the activists groups being investigated in that FBI probe.
WND reported Iosbaker and his wife, Stephanie Weiner, worked as leaders of the Chicago New Party, a controversial 1990s political party that sought to elect members to public office with the aim of moving the Democratic Party far leftward to ultimately form a new political party with a socialist agenda.
WND previously reported on evidence from the New Party’s own newsletters showing Obama was a member of the New Party.
Another group at Friday’s press conference planning to protest at the May summits is Code Pink.
Code Pink’s co-founder, Jodie Evans, was a fundraiser and financial bundler for Obama’s presidential campaign.
Also planning protests is Tom Burke of the so-called Committee to Stop FBI Repression, which has been leading activism against the FBI’s reported ongoing terror probes of Chicago and Minnesota anti-war groups.
Burke, a former school custodian-turned-stay-at-home father, belongs to the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, a group mentioned in subpoenas and search warrants issued in the same FBI terror probe.
WND reported Obama has other ties to the activist groups at the heart of the FBI terror probe, including Hatem Abudayyeh, the executive director of the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN.
WND was first to report that Obama, while serving as a paid director of the far-left nonprofit Chicago Woods Fund, provided two grants to the AAAN.
Obama served at the Woods Fund alongside Weather Underground terrorist-group founder Bill Ayers.
AAAN was founded by a longtime Obama associate, Columbia University Professor Rashid Khalidi. Khalidi’s wife, Mona, is president of the Arab American Action Network.
Forecast for American cities: Confrontation, intimidation?
The NATO and G-8 summits are not the only focus of radical groups.
WND reported Heather Booth, director of a Saul Alinsky-style community organizing group, the Midwest Academy, was among the main speakers at the “2011 State Battles Summit” in June at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Booth’s husband, Paul, also was a speaker at the union summit. Paul Booth co-founded Midwest Academy in the 1970s.
The four-day summit was organized by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, with participation from the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest union.
An official schedule for the event, obtained by WND, declared: “Our union is under unprecedented attack in every state. Extremist politicians want to weaken us as we head into 2012. Their tactics include budget cuts, layoffs, privatization and the denial of our very collective bargaining rights.”
Continued the flyer: “New challenges require new energy and new thinking. We encourage union activists to attend this conference and bring their creative ideas on how to overcome the challenges ahead.”
Heather Booth participated in a panel entitled, “Our Message, Alliances and Best Practices.”
Paul Booth delivered the opening remarks for the union conference.
Another speaker at the union event was John Podesta, who co-chaired President Obama’s transition team.
Podesta is president of the Center for American Progress, which is heavily influential in advising the White House. The center is funded by philanthropist George Soros.
Mideast revolutions coming to U.S.?
Citizen Action of Wisconsin, an arm of Booth’s Midwest Academy, is part of the Moving Wisconsin Forward movement, one of the main organizers of the major Wisconsin protests in February, as WND first reported.
The protests were in opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal for most state workers to pay 12 percent of their health care premiums and 5.8 percent of their salary toward their own pensions.
WND reported at the time speakers at the rallies likened the Wisconsin protests to the ongoing revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa while calling for similar uprisings in the U.S.
Obama links, ‘Redistribution of wealth and power’
Obama himself once funded Midwest Academy. He has been closely tied to Heather Booth.
Booth has stated building a ”progressive majority” would help for ”a fair distribution of wealth and power and opportunity.”
Her husband Paul is a founder and the former national secretary of Students for a Democratic Society, the radical 1960s anti-war movement from which William Ayers’ domestic Weather Underground terrorist organization splintered.
In 1999, the Booths’ Midwest Academy received $75,000 from the Woods Fund with Obama on its board alongside Ayers, In 2002, with Obama still serving on the Woods Fund, Midwest received another $23,500 for its Young Organizers Development Program.
Midwest describes itself as “one of the nation’s oldest and best-known schools for community organizations, citizen organizations and individuals committed to progressive social change.”
It later morphed into a national organizing institute for an emerging network of organizations known as Citizen Action.
Discover the Networks describes Midwest as “teach[ing] tactics of direct action, confrontation and intimidation.”
WND first reported the executive director of an activist organization that taught Alinsky’s tactics of direct action, confrontation and intimidation was part of the team that developed volunteers for President Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Jackie Kendall, executive director of the Midwest Academy, was on the team that developed and delivered the first Camp Obama training for volunteers aiding Obama’s campaign through the 2008 Iowa Caucuses.
Camp Obama was a two-to-four day intensive course run in conjunction with Obama’s campaign aimed at training volunteers to become activists to help Obama win the presidential election.
Also, in 1998, Obama participated on a panel discussion praising Alinsky alongside Heather Booth, herself a dedicated disciple of Alinsky.
The panel discussion following the opening performance in Chicago of the play “The Love Song of Saul Alinsky,” a work described by the Chicago Sun-Times as “bringing to life one of America’s greatest community organizers.”
Obama participated in the discussion alongside other Alinskyites, including political analyst Aaron Freeman, Don Turner of the Chicago Federation of Labor and Northwestern University history professor Charles Paine.
“Alinsky had so much fire burning within,” stated local actor Gary Houston, who portrayed Alinsky in the play. “There was a lot of complexity to him. Yet he was a really cool character.”
‘Communist fellow traveler’
Former 1960s radical and FrontPage Magazine Editor David Horowitz describes Alinsky as the “communist/Marxist fellow-traveler who helped establish the dual political tactics of confrontation and infiltration that characterized the 1960s and have remained central to all subsequent revolutionary movements in the United States.”
Horowitz writes in his 2009 pamphlet “Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution. The Alinsky Model”: “The strategy of working within the system until you can accumulate enough power to destroy it was what ’60s radicals called ‘boring from within.’ … Like termites, they set about to eat away at the foundations of the building in expectation that one day they could cause it to collapse.”
In a letter to the editor of the Boston Globe, Alinsky’s son praised Obama for stirring up the masses at the 2008 Democratic National Convention “Saul Alinsky style,” saying, “Obama learned his lesson well.”
The letter, signed L. David Alinsky, closed with, “I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully.”
With research by Brenda J. Elliott