Gitmo2Chicago: Activists demand probe of ‘secret interrogation facility’ (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Demonstrators protest outside a Chicago Police facility on the city's Westside on February 28, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP)

Demonstrators protest outside a Chicago Police facility on the city’s Westside on February 28, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP)

Activists in Chicago are demanding a thorough investigation into Homan Square, a local detention facility which is being compared to a CIA black site. Several dozen protested on Saturday after police denied the accusations.

Organized by Anonymous, Occupy, and Black Lives Matter, as well
as a number of other groups, the ‘Shut Down Homan Square’ protest
gathered around 200 people outside the detention facility in the
city’s West Side.

Braving Saturday’s below-zero temperatures, the activists held
banners and chanted slogans such as “Shut it down” and
“Freedom first,” as well as “Indict, convict, send
the torturers to jail.”
They demanded a probe and changes at
the facility after a report in the Guardian claimed it is used by
Chicago police as a “secret interrogation facility.”

Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

“Hopefully with the presence we expect to have, that will put
a little bit of pressure to say, ‘Hey, look – this isn’t going to
go away,’”
said Travis McDermott, one of the organizers of
the protest, as quoted by the Guardian.

by Jocelyn

Later, dozens of protesters marched through nearby streets.

During Saturday’s demonstration, organizers called on people to
come forward if their rights have ever been violated by police.

“We need you to come forth and tell us yes you have been a
victim of abuse,”
one organizer said, according to USA
Today. “Please come forward and let the people know so we can
take some action.”

Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

Anonymous took to Twitter, Instagram and other social media
platforms with the hashtag #Gitmo2Chicago to draw attention to
the so-called secret prison. “Torture soon coming to a city
near you,”
it stated.

“This will not stand,” the collective said in a video message
posted on February 27.

According to the Guardian’s report, the compound houses
military-style vehicles, interrogation cells, and a cage. People
have “disappeared there” for 12-15 hours before being arraigned.

READ MORE: Chicago police allegedly run domestic
‘black site’ for interrogation

The newspaper spoke to an alleged former suspect at the site and
several local attorneys who reported the Homan Square compound
was being used to deny people their Fifth Amendment right to due
process and Sixth Amendment right to an attorney.

Protesting on Saturday, activists demanded that anyone arrested
in Chicago to be “booked immediately upon arrest and given
access to a phone with which they can call an attorney.”

One of the major demands is “a special meeting be called
within 10 days.”
It would “allow the public to ask
questions of supervising CPD officers about what happens inside
Homan Square and other facilities.”

According to an announcement on Facebook, the group has formally
submitted the request, urging for it to be approved

Activists also demand that posters informing people of their
rights be placed at all Chicago Police Department facilities.

“Everything that happens in this facility is off the books,
so they can’t prove that these things never happened,”

McDermott said.

Photo from

In its only official statement, the Chicago Police Department
denied the Guardian’s allegations.

Speaking to Chicago Tonight TV program, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said
the report was not true. “We follow the rules,” he said.

Photo from

Activists are planning another demonstration, dubbed ‘Reparations Not Black Sites,’ which will be held
outside Emanuel’s office on March 2.

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