POP will appeal ruling on OPC


To the Editor:

The very existence of the Chicago lakefront public park system has, as vulnerable Blanche DuBois says in the Tennessee Williams play “A Streetcar Named Desire”, “always depended on the kindness of strangers.” This time it has been Protect Our Parks stepping forward.

From the moment we, all of us, realized that a lawsuit was the only way to stop the taking of that long-protected and dedicated public park land in historic Jackson Park to build a proposed Obama Library (revealed to be nothing more than a so-called Obama “Center”), there has never been any misunderstanding of the rich, powerful and political forces that would have to be overcome.

I’ll confess that after doing all the background research, as a trial lawyer of 50 plus years, I not only naively trusted that we would easily win but that we would ultimately be able to recover all the costs of litigation from the defendants as sanctions. And the steady outpouring of charitable contributions and heart rendering letters of support, has only confirmed that, however difficult it might be, protecting the rule of law and securing equal justice in Chicago required we do what needed to be done.

The adverse ruling of Judge Blakey on June 11 has generated even more contributions and letters of support to POP urging that we continue to fight and never give up. And we won’t. There will be an immediate appeal to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse Judge Blakey, and on to the Supreme Court if it should become necessary.

The issue is no longer just Jackson Park. Blakey’s ruling provides an inviting precedent that removes all legal obstacles to public park destruction and opens the door to commercial exploitation of the entire lakefront public park system. Obama was just the camel’s nose to gain entrance. And, unless Blakey is reversed, the public park door is now wide open to whomever follows after.

The sound you are hearing is the smacking of lips of every insider land developer and corrupt politician in contemplation of the money to be made by building hotels and condos all along the Chicago beaches of Lake Michigan from Hollywood on the north to the recovered steel mill land of East Chicago on the south.

Herb Caplan

President, Protect Our Parks