Media Advisory: Community Groups Rally in Chicago to Denounce Islamophobic & Hyper-Militarized SWAT Training

**** Media Advisory ****

For Immediate Release

Press contact: Debbie Southorn: 971.227.3829, dsouthor [at] ()


Community Groups Rally to Denounce Islamophobic & Hyper-Militarized SWAT Training

Coalition calls on Stonegate & Cook County DHS To End Relationship with Illinois Tactical Officers Association in Chicagoland.  


WHAT: The #StopITOA coalition, a group of Chicago community organizations, will rally downtown today to express deep concerns about Islamophobic and hyper-militarized tactical training at the Illinois Tactical Officers Association's (ITOA) 2016 Tactical Training Conference taking place at the Stonegate Conference and Banquet Center in Hoffman Estates from October 9-13. The #StopITOA Coalition is calling on Stonegate as well as Cook County Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (DHSEM) and other government agencies to end their relationships with ITOA.


WHEN: Sunday, October 9 at 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM


WHO: Assata’s Daughters, Organized Communities Against Deportations, War Resisters League, For The People Artists Collective, American Friends Service Committee-Chicago, Invisible to Invincible: Asian Pacific Pride of Chicago, People’s Response Team, and other Chicago community organizations.


WHERE: Northwest Corner of Millennium Park :: Randolph and Michigan Ave :: "Wrigley Square"

WHY: ITOA's Tactical Training Conference is a five-day SWAT tactical training and weapons expo aimed at training local police and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) "like tactical squads in the military", and increasing the flow of weapons and militarized technology into greater Chicagoland and throughout nation. These practices pose a direct threat to Black, Muslim and communities of color. The keynote speaker for the conference is Sebastian Gorka, a far-right extremist and Donald Trump consultant who has consistently called for the expansion of law enforcement to carry out suspicionless monitoring and surveillance of Muslim and refugee communities.


At this rally we'll hear speeches & performances from the young organizers behind the #StopITOA campaign, including announcements of upcoming actions throughout the week of the ITOA conference, to keep the pressure on the venue and make it clear that racism, militarized violence & anti-Muslim bigotry are bad for business.

HASHTAGS: #Unite2Disarm #StopITOA

HANDLES: @chicopwatch @afsc_peace @afsc_org @plussone @megmantis @so_it_goes @bullhorngirl @resistwar