In June we reported on newly elected Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel using his clout to bring the 28-member NATO meeting and G-8 Summit to town in 2012. Also, in bringing the meetings to Chicago, the city will likely be confronted with the usual large-scale protests, which are most often comprised of violent anarchist revolutionaries.
The Chicago Tribune is now reporting that activists in Chicago are indeed planning large-scale demonstrations in Chicago, and have filed requests with the city to obtain protest permits.
From the Trib:
Activists are planning massive demonstrations to coincide with the G8 and NATO summits in Chicago scheduled for spring 2012, with crowds of protesters likely to reach “tens of thousands,” organizers said.
More than 160 members representing about 50 groups from across the U.S. and Canada gathered Sunday at the Chicago-Kent College of Law to discuss strategy and start planning two large-scale protests and a march during the weeklong joint summit, which is set for mid-May 2012.
Chicago could see crowds of protesters similar to the 35,000 or so activists who descended on St. Paul, Minn., during the 2008 Republican National Convention, said Joe Lombardo, co-coordinator for the New York-based United National Anti-War Committee.
Chicago activist Joe Iosbaker, who helped organize the RNC protests in 2008, and radical gay rights and anti-war activist Andy Thayer, whose homes were raided by FBI agents in October 2010 for suspected ties to funding Hamas and other terrorist organizations, are helping to organize the protests.
According to the Trib, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy recently stated that the department is preparing for “mass arrests” of protesters during the summit.
The Tribune piece states Iosbaker attributed violence from past protests to aggressive police:
Iosbaker noted that events like the G8 and World Trade Organization summits have seen some violence in their host cities. Iosbaker attributed the clashes to aggressive police and said his group is planning to do nothing to disrupt the city or the conferences.
“What we want is a safe, permitted, legal protest,” Iosbaker said.
“Something that parents feel safe bringing their babies in strollers to, and we want our voice to be heard.”
“Statements like that from McCarthy have a chilling effect…. The city has a history of attacks on civil rights.”
However, we have also shown you video from just this past March of Andy Thayer onstage at a radical anti-war socialist revolution march, calling for mass protests in the streets of Chicago that replicate what was seen last spring in Egypt and across the Middle East. This seems to justify just a little bit of concern from the Chicago Police.
Does this sound like something that parents should “feel safe bringing their babies in strollers to?”
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Photo Credit: MSN.com