Interactive Civil Liberties Human Rights Conference ~ Saturday, December 1 ~ VenueSIX10, 610 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Rallying, Marching and Assembly as tools for change — can we still do that?

Time: 1:45 pm – 2:45 pm
Location: Crown Great Hall – 9th floor
CLE credit pending.

Moderator: Eddie Feldman, Partner, Miller Shakman & Beem
Adam Schwartz, Senior Staff Counsel, ACLU of Illinois
Michael McConnell, Regional Director, American Friends Service Committee
Marimonica Murray, Founder, No Crete Detention Center

A regular element of every political speech on the Fourth of July (or other holidays) is to celebrate “freedom” in America — particularly the freedom to speak out against governmental policy. Too often, however, those who engage in free speech activities are demeaned and dismissed, especially in the mainstream media, as people on the fringe. Indeed, in the days leading up to the NATO Summit in Chicago in 2012, constant warnings about “threats” from protestors (who were largely peaceful and cooperative) turned Chicago’s busy Loop area into a “ghost town” for the weekend of the NATO events.

The panel will explore public speech and protest activity, exploring strategies that have worked to advance public policy over many, many years. We also will examine a specific case study of a specific public protest in Crete, Illinois, that led to the City Council there rejecting the construction of a privately-run facility to detain non-citizens. Finally, we will look at what limitations exist today on protest in Chicago and around Illinois.

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