Protesting Chicago's Black Site: Homan Square

Jill McLaughlin | March 1, 2015

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On Saturday February 28th about 200 people gathered on the west side of Chicago to protest Chicago's very own black site called Homan Square. Revelations of this site run by the Chicago Police Department came to light with a recent article in the Guardian newspaper. What is revealed is that the Chicago PD has been operating a facility were people are detained for prolong periods of time while being denied access to lawyers and some of have even been tortured. We of Chicago World Can't Wait could not help but make the connections between this facility and Guantanamo Bay Prison.

For years this facility has operated without any oversite and the residents of the west side whom are mostly Black or Latino are familiar with it because they have been the target of this monstrosity. The use of torture by Chicago PD is well documented but the fact there is a facility where police carry out these crimes is chilling. Chicago World Can't Wait wanted to make the connection for people that it isn't just what our government does to Americans here but that these are the kind of crimes that are perpetrated by our government on people around the world.

A member of Chicago World Can't Wait put it this way at the rally:

This trail of torture is long and winding. It leads from the cold concrete cells of Homan Square and Chicago’s police stations to the stark cages of Guantánamo’s Camp Delta... from the napalm-seared war against the liberation fighters of Vietnam in the 1960s to the attacks by occupying armies of police in the ghettos and barrios of Chicago over the last 40 years.

These torture techniques have been honed in U.S. wars against people around the world - CPD Detective Jon Burge learned his in Vietnam - and the torture inflicted on people on the South and West Sides of Chicago was “exported” to Guantanamo, where they took on even more gruesome form:

  • water-boarding over and over again
  • held in cages in freezing cold and grueling heat
  • loud noise and light 24 hours a day
  • held for years with no charges, no trial, no end

And then you have Richard Zuley, a Chicago cop who learned his torture techniques here in Chicago and then took them with him to Guantanamo where he participated in torture there.

We are wearing these orange jumpsuits today as a reminder of that torture and a symbol of solidarity with all the lives ruined and destroyed in this war OF terror. It is a symbol that is recognized around the world and it needs to be understood here too.

We need to ask ourselves: What kind of country, what kind of system, breaks the most fundamental rules of humanity and law to terrorize whole peoples, whether in Chicago on the west side or in Afghanistan's Salt Pit? Because that is what this is — TERROR. A system that can only survive with such means, a system that has lost all legitimacy. It’s on us to stop thinking like Americans, stop putting American lives above anyone else’s, and start thinking about humanity.

Put Humanity and the Planet First - The World Can’t Wait.

Vine video

Guardian US: Homan Square protesters demand answers over Chicago police 'black site'

USA Today: Activists protest alleged Chicago police 'black sites'

Main Torture Protesting Chicago's Black Site: Homan Square


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.