2020 ‘Global Cities’ Forum: ‘Covid’ a Catalyst to Expand Local Authority and Usurp or Subvert National Powers

Appearance of greater ‘local control’
masks enhancement of world government

By Mark Anderson
‘STOP THE PRESSES’ News Assocation founder

CHICAGO, Ill.—The Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CCGA), after a four-month delay, held its annual Pritzker Forum on Global Cities on Oct. 15 to cover several issues and themes that the Council is pushing on a long-term basis as it approaches its centennial in 2022, having been founded in 1922 as the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations—one year after the  infamous, original Council on Foreign Relations was founded in New York City.

The Pritzker Forum on Global Cities is named after the prominent Jewish Pritzker family that, among other things, owns the Hyatt Hotel chain and has one its members, ultra-liberal Democrat J.B. Pritzker, serving as the 43rd Governor of Illinois. At this year’s first-ever “virtual” forum, mayors from three major U.S. cities, as well as European officials and others expounded on the way that, under cover of Covid-19, the global cities movement is on the brink of taking a quantum leap forward, far beyond what would otherwise be the case.

The thrust is to endow municipalities with unprecedented authority, in order to escalate the movement’s general objective of enabling major cities to tightly network with each other around the world, while increasingly sidestepping the authority of nation states. Although this shift has the seemingly agreeable appearance of enhancing “local control,” it raises thorny constitutional questions.

Starting in 2016, when this writer exclusively covered the CCGA’s first-ever global cities forum—largely because the CCGA, like dozens of other world affairs forums in the U.S. and abroad, share members, guest speakers and/or policy ideas with the Bilderberg Meetings, the Trilateral Commission, the Brookings Institution etc.—the overall global cities movement has gone from tentative suggestions that cities assume more authority to serious discussion about cities having their own foreign policy and international diplomatic machinery, ostensibly because cities are closest to the people in this age of globalization and urbanization. First discussed in early 2018 at the Chatham House think tank in London, UK, that brow-raising proposal would give cities new powers that collide with constitutional protocols which reserve diplomacy for national governments.

CCGA President Ivo Daalder, who moderated the 2020 Pritzker Forum on Global Cities via the Zoom computer platform to avoid hosting an in-person event, opened the event by stating:

The global pandemic has changed global cities as we know them. The resulting economic, social and cultural transformations of our cities have truly been unprecedented. The cities are frontline actors, responding to a public health emergency . . . . [U.S.] cities had to get to work and find creative ways to stay connected, with each other and [with cities] around the world.

Interestingly. Daalder was the CCGA’s representative at the above-mentioned 2018 UK meeting at Chatham House (the elder sibling of the original New York-based Council on Foreign Relations mentioned above). He added at the 2020 forum that the CCGA has formed “teams” that “went to back to the drawing board to redesign our Forum on Global Cities as a year-around platform,” meaning that this formerly once-a-year workshop, which already was the CCGA’s flagship event, is assuming an even larger dimension. Ironically, it’s being partially funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, whose namesake, Col. Robert R. McCormick (1880-1955), the stridently nationalist owner of the formerly “America-First” Chicago Tribune during its heyday, would profoundly object to the CCGA’s activities, especially its deep disdain for nationalist perspectives and policies.

Notably, the CCGA is quick to claim that it’s a “non-partisan” entity. The moderators at its events also repeatedly state that the views of its guest speakers are their own and do not represent the CCGA’s views. These claims are patently false. True, the CCGA is not overtly Democrat or Republican, but you’ll see a liberal like former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who was fined by his state’s Ethics Commission for attending the 2018 Bilderberg Meeting,  speak to the CCGA, but legislators such as Rep. Jim Jordan or Sen. Rand Paul, to name two examples, will never be invited to speak, lest the CCGA’s fragile globalist narrative unravel. Furthermore, the CCGA, accordingly, is extremely biased toward global, one-world views and is strongly opposed to any serious notions of “America First” and to the genuine defense or improvement of the national sovereignty of any nation.


“Over the next 12 months, we will explore the new reality facing cities,” Daalder went on to say at the forum, while listing three planks in this plan: 1) “adapting governance”; 2) “pursuing equity”; and 3) “reimagining resilience.” He continued: “The virus has exposed strengths and weaknesses in the way counties, states and cities prepare for [crises, including covid],” while highlighting “how different levels of government work together—or not.”

Daalder’s comments represent the highly deceptive “doublespeak” language of “globalese”—used by globalist groups the world over. While his remarks may at first sound reasonable, references to “adapting governance” and various “transformations” comprise a classic case of subtly invoking the dictum of former Chicago Mayor and longtime CCGA partisan Rahm Emanuel: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Thusly, the covid pandemic—regardless of its many debatable aspects in terms of grossly inflated and distorted data, as well as covid-related government crackdowns that increasingly qualify as tyranny—becomes “the perfect storm” with which to accelerate and solidify global government. And that has several alarming aspects, as this writer has learned closely covering the global cities movement.

For example, the movement calls for “smart cities” that heavily emphasize the technology needed for close surveillance of the public based on the 5G-oriented “internet of things.”

So, if an allegedly “safe” covid-19 vaccine is ever developed—despite the mass media downplaying the adverse bodily reactions reported at the current human vaccine trials by AstraZeneca and other drug firms—anyone who refuses to be vaccinated likely would be tagged and tracked, with their travels subject to potentially severe restrictions. And given the mentality of many of the nation’s “blue” mayors who break up peaceful, legal protests but often allow looters and arsonists to roam freely, it’s not difficult to see where the 21 Century’s global cities may be heading.

The participating U.S. mayors at the 2020 global cities conference—Miami’s Francis Suarez, Seattle’s Jenny Durkan, and Pittsburgh’s Bill Peduto—mainly covered practical matters, such as ultra-liberal Mayor Durkan saying that Seattle “created a $100 million fund” to address covid-related economic-recovery matters. However, that’s being done on a biased “racial minority” basis—rather than simply helping everyone regardless of color or heritage (so much for “pursuing equity”).

In addition, the mayors of Palermo, Italy (Leoluco Orlando); Dublin, Ireland (Hazel Chu); and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, an ultra-globalist, chimed in to round out this year’s conference, which was moderated and co-sponsored by the Bilderberg-connected Financial Times. While praising New Zealand, Uruguay and Taiwan for reportedly combating Covid-19 effectively, Ms. Clark declared that “complicated systems of layered government” are counterproductive and pointed to New Zealand’s strong central government as the supposed ideal model to follow; yet, the tendency of strong central governments, such as that of Victoria state in Australia, to severely abridge human rights and harm human health, via the covid crackdown, was not part of the conversation at the global cities forum.

Lord Mayor Chu, Dublin’s first-ever mayor of Chinese ancestry, noted that the local governments and Ireland’s national government have often locked horns. “I would like to see this role [the mayor] have more power. There needs to be more power given to the local counselors,” she remarked, in line with the essential goals of global cities advocates. True to globalist form, she embraces “inclusion and integration” in Ireland, thereby indicating she supports foreign migration into Ireland even during the pandemic, while the Irish people must follow strict anti-covid regulations.












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