Mayor Rahm Emanuel made an admission on Tuesday: He “made a mistake” when he claimed that extraordinary security measures he proposed to handle protesters who descend on Chicago for the NATO and G-8 summits would be temporary and repealed after the events are over.
The mayor’s about-face apparently means the only thing temporary about the changes will be the power to purchase “goods, work or services” needed to host the May 15-22 event at McCormick Place without City Council approval.
But the other changes will be permanent. They include: dramatically higher fines for resisting arrest; more surveillance cameras; parks and beaches closed until 6 a.m.; sweeping parade restrictions and higher fees for those events and empowering Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to “deputize law enforcement personnel” and forge cooperative agreements with a host of state, federal and local law enforcement agencies.
That’s not what the mayor said last month when he introduced the changes at a City Council meeting. At that time, he emphatically stated that the changes he sought were “temporary,” “one-time only” and “just for this conference.”
“I made a mistake. Real simple, OK? I thought when I answered the question, I was answering the question about contracting, OK? So, if I made a mistake, I bear the responsibililty,” the mayor said.