In her previous and current mayoral campaigns, Lori Lightfoot has received an astounding $150,000 from the ruling class Crown family, and an additional $11,600 to her political action committee.
Who are these Lori-loving billionaires? While they publicly present themselves as philanthropists, the Crown family has earned their billions through their ownership stake in General Dynamics, the fifth largest weapons contractor in the US. The Crown Family holds a 10 percent ownership stake in General Dynamics which produces weapons for the US empire to reign down death and destruction on people all over the world, and James Crown is the lead director of General Dynamics.
In concrete terms that means that the hundreds of thousands of dollars donated to Lori Lightfoot’s reelection campaign are earned from supplying weapons and munitions to wars of aggression. When the US-Saudi coalition drops a General Dynamics made bomb in Yemen on a school bus, a water treatment facility, or a hospital, the Crown family profits. And earns more money to donate to Lori Lightfoot.
When General Dynamics weapons in the hands of the US-backed Israeli Defense Force murder Palestinian children on a beach, evict a Palestinian family from a home, or assassinate Palestinian leaders, the Crown family profits. And earns more money to donate to Lori Lightfoot.
When the repressive, US-backed government of Egypt cracks down on dissidents and protesters with General Dynamics weapons, the Crown family profits. And earns more money to donate to Lori Lightfoot.
At the same time that Lori Lightfoot has celebrated Chicago’s status as a “Sanctuary City” that is welcoming to migrants and refugees, a General Dynamics subsidiary provides the Customs and Border Patrol with remove video surveillance to “detect, track, identify, and classify” migrants. Another General Dynamics subsidiary has received over four billion dollars to provide staffing and support for the detention of immigrant children. When refugees and migrants fleeing US wars of aggression and imperialist interventions are tracked and detained on the US-Mexico border, the Crown family profits. And earns more money to donate to Lori Lightfoot.
Like other billionaires and members of the ruling class, the Crown’s makes lavish political donations to make sure their interests are represented at every level of government. For the Crowns this mainly means supporting Democratic party candidates who will expand US wars abroad, ensuring the smooth flow of contracts back to General Dynamics, and attempting to maintain the US as the number one imperialist power. While we don’t know the precise reasons for the support of Lightfoot (they may include real estate interests), we do know that in accepting the blood stained money of the Crown family, Lori Lightfoot is complicit in the crimes of the US war machine.
While accepting hundreds of thousands of blood stained dollars from the Crown family, Lori Lightfoot has also gone out of her way to promote Chicago’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program- the largest the US. Chicago’s JROTC program targets Black and Latino Chicago Public School students on the south and west side of the city for recruitment into the imperialist US military, to be the future cannon fodder and joystick jockey’s of the US war machine. And Chicago’s program has been particularly predatory and controversial: in the 2020-2021 school year, at least 10 schools (all predominantly Black or Latino) automatically enrolled students in JROTC without their parents permission. In 2022, the official in charge of JROTC and military instruction in Chicago was forced to resign for failing to protect students from sexual abuse. Amid all of this obviously predatory behavior aimed to bring Chicago’s most vulnerable children into the imperialist US military, Lori Lightfoot has continued to say that Chicago’s JROTC program is a point of pride!
As Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, swimming in money from the Crown family and actively raising more, has gone out of her way to ensure that one of the most predatory institutions on the planet- the United States military- has access to public schools students. As Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot fought (unsuccessfully) to retain the headquarters of Boeing in Chicago- yet another military contractor. As Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot has actively been participating in the US war machine.
Behind Enemy Lines is an anti-imperialist organization that believes in standing with the people of the world and standing up to the war makers, like Lori Lightfoot and the Crown family. Instead of begging the rulers for concessions, we believe that popular education like this can expose the way the US imperialism has integrated itself in everyday life and help to raise the level of consciousness of imperialism and resistance. As part of that commitment to standing with the people of world, we aim to drive the Crown family and their ilk out of public life, and stop the US military from praying on students, depriving the empire of loyal soldiers. Join us.