The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed ordinance to impose stricter rules and fines for protests would be permanent — and not just for the upcoming G8 and NATO summits, as originally implied.
The Chicago City Council is set to look at the ordinance during their next meeting on January 18. If passed, the fines for a slew of violations would skyrocket, with the maximum penalty doubling to $2,000. Minimum fines for resisting arrest would jump from $25 to $200 with the maximum fee reaching $1,000, up from $500. The proposal also calls for shortening protests to a maximum time length of two hours, allowing for amplfied music and loud noise during parades and demonstrations only during the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., and keeping public beaches and parks closed for two additional hours, making the new opening time 6 a.m. Emanuel's plan also requires that demonstration organizers have a parade marshal for every 100 protesters.
Though the proposal calls for stricter rules and costlier penalties, it does not seem poised to make much of an impact when it comes to deterring protesters, according to the report.
"It's clear the more stringent the provisions, the more numerous, the
greater the difficulty in complying with those provisions," Harvey Grossman, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, told the Tribune. "It's an unnecessary show of authority and something that will have very little meaning in terms of altering conduct."
The G8 and NATO summits are set to take place in May.
UPDATE (1/4/12): In a follow-up story spurred by the mayor's comments at an unrelated press conference on Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune covers Emanuel's explanation for the confusion surrounding the permanency of the proposed ordinance's provisions. "I misspoke, and I take responsibility for the confusion," Emanuel said, according to the Tribune, as he explained that the only temporary aspect of the proposal is the open-ended spending authority he is hoping to receive for security services during the summits.