Protesters Descend on NATO Summit #nonato


As world leaders came together for the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago on Sunday, the city also saw its largest demonstration in years as thousands of protestors marched in the name of climate change, grievances over war and an array of other complaints.

The protest brought people together from all walks of life, each with their own opinion. There were so many messages being conveyed by the protests that some are now worried about how effective it could have been.

Esther Westlake, a recent graduate of Northeastern Illinois University, said she wondered if all the mixed messages would be too unfocused to get the necessary attention required from diplomats.

“It seems like there’s so many messages and people aren’t really sure what they want to get accomplished. People just need to figure out what their argument is going to be,” Westlake said.

Among other concerns expressed by Westlake were those that authorities have had for months: the violence that could occur due to people simply out to cause trouble.

Protesters and Police Clash

Authorities had provided heightened security along the march route to protect people and property and officers were instructed to keep an eye out for possible troublemakers. The tactic did seem to be working as several times police were seen pulling protesters out of the march. Unfortunately, what most will remember from the march are the images of a faceoff between the protesters and the police.

McCormick Place, the lakeside convention centre where President Barack Obama was hosting the summit, was the end of the line for the protesters and it was here when they finally clashed with a line of police trying to keep them from the centre.

A group of protesters began hurling sticks and bottles at the police while the police responded by swinging their batons. The two sides then faced off for nearly two hours as the police continued to block their path and the protesters refused to leave.

After the clash, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy stated that the protests resulted in 45 arrests and four officers suffering injuries.

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