BOWLING GREEN – In response to allegations of torture and police mistreatment at a Chicago Police Facility, the Solutions Institute assisted Chicago-area activists in planning a “Shut Down Homan Square” rally. The peacefully rally was organized in 72 hours, with nearly 200 people attending, and went off without a hitch.

On February 24, UK-based newspaper The Guardian published a report detailing allegations of torture and off-the-books activities at Homan Square, described as a domestic “black site.” The Intercept followed up with interviews with detainees at the facility, and activists were outraged.

Grassroots groups including Revolt.net, the Gay Liberation Network, Chicago Anonymous, Chicago Stop Mass Incarceration Network, and many others were joined by national websites such as the Free Thought Project and the Anti-Media to generate a swift response to the allegations, declaring that those activities were unacceptable in Chicago.

With only 72 hours to organize a “boots on the ground” response to the allegations, the activists got to work. In only three days, on the day of the rally, their hard work paid off. Not only did 200 people attend, but the rally was covered by media outlets from domestic to international, including The Chicago Tribune, WGNTVChicago Sun-Times, Chicagoist, USA TodayThe Guardian, Shanghai Daily, Global TimesPress TV, Russia Today, and more.

Two rally organizers spoke out about Solutions Institute’s assistance:

“[SI President Dan Johnson’s] services are exceptional, bar none. He has an unparalleled dedication to the causes he advises on, and can keep a group of organizers on target. He has a knack for transcending personal differences within a group and facilitate compromise when gridlock seems inevitable.”

-Travis Smith, Revolt.net

 “I would like to say thank you to The Solutions institute for taking up an advisory position on this. Their methods have set an example for me when it comes to co-operating with other groups, showing me how to maximize our potential.”

-David Roriguez, Chicago Anonymous

The Solutions Institute is a collection of activists and professionals from across the political spectrum, forming the nation’s first Activist Consulting Firm, and we are always looking for new projects. Submit yours here: http://solutions-institute.org/get-help/

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(Featured image credit: The Anti-Media)

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