NATO Protestors Gather in Chicago
Law enforcement authorities, protesters and the media all geared up for one of the largest protests of the year in Chicago on Sunday. NATO is holding a summit and thousands of protesters are expected to march to a lakeside convention center from downtown to protest the world leader’s summit meeting.
Protestors were starting to gather hours prior to the main demonstration. Included amongst the protestors were peace activists and war veterans, along with those worried about the economy. Signs could be seen that read “War = Debt” and “NATO, Go Home.”
Sunday’s rally was originally expected to attract tens of thousands, but that was because the G-8 summit was originally scheduled for Chicago and then was changed by President Obama to Camp David, the secluded rural retreat located in Maryland.
However, the NATO summit was kept in Chicago, which focuses on the ongoing war in Afghanistan and other security matters internationally, but does not touch on the economy. That caused activists to try to get teachers, union laborers and nurses to come, even though the summit did not focus any issues directly involved with them.
The past two days have seen a number of small demonstrations including one at the Mayor of Chicago’s home. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is the former chief of staff for Obama. Saturday night there were a number of tense altercations between police and protestors. Police used horses and bicycles to try to coax protesters into different routes. In all, 18 arrests were made said police.
Security throughout the city has been very tight. Police are located in masses at street corners, important landmarks and near parks.