Police Picket Still on the Table

Police union considers protest for IOC visit next week

What next, a blizzard?

As if Chicago's embarrassing pot holes and politicians weren't enough to jeopordize the upcoming visit of the International Olympic Committee weighing the candidate cities for the 2016 Games, now the Fraternal Order of Police is considering picketing City Hall next week as the evaluators arrive.

The FOP is thinking about conducting informational picketing April 2 to protest the Daley administration's recent decision to pull an offered raise of 16.1 percent over five years, according to the Chicago Sun-Times

FOP President Mark Donahue said the rank and file is also upset about the leakage of contract negotiation specifics that were supposed to remain confidential.

The union also is upset that Mayor Daley came to Police Supt. Jody Weis' defense after the FOP gave him a no-confidence vote last week.
"There was an attempt to dismiss the seriousness of the message," Donahue said.

If you've ever been confronted by a Chicago police officer, you know they like to be taken seriously.

A post Thursday on the Second City Cop blog indicates that text messages and e-mails about the proposed protest are flying among the rank and file. The blogger, an officer himself, suggests that one day of picketing may not be enough.

"Why not a bus on standby for the 'grand tour' and drive ahead of the IOC entourage to conduct 'informational pickets' at each and every whistle-stop the convoy makes?" Second City Cop writes.

Donahue said on Thursday that a decision about the staged action would be made by Friday.  If the picket does happen, he said it would not be an anti-Olympic demonstration, but an opportunity to highlight officers' issues.

A police source told the Sun-Times, however, that it doubts officers would come out in force for even one day.

"Officers have been reluctant to incur the mayor's ire by participating in such protests," the paper credits the source as saying.

Separately, a group called No Games Chicago has invited its members to gather at Federal Plaza on April 2 to rally against bringing the Games to the Windy City. That group contends that money spent on the Games could be better spent on the city's schools, housing, hospitals and public transit.

So, let the protest games begin.

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