Chicago braces for final day of Nato protests

 

Chicago braced for more demonstrations today, with protesters vowing to
march to the Boeing headquarters a day after clashes outside the Nato summit.

Many downtown businesses have told their employees to stay at home during the second and final day of the summit — where world leaders are discussing the war in Afghanistan, European missile defence and other security issues — because of traffic snarls and the possibility of more protests.

More than two dozen Metra rail stations along a line that carries around 14,000 riders in from the southern suburbs on most weekdays will be closed and stations and platforms patrolled by a larger contingent of law enforcement personnel and K-9 units. The Chicago Transit Authority will have to reroute 24 buses through the summit zone.

Organisers with the Occupy Chicago movement planned to gather at a West Side park at 9am, and an hour later march toward the Boeing building along the Chicago River in the city's business district. Occupy claims the multi-billion-dollar aerospace company avoids paying taxes because it produces airplanes for the US military.

Later, immigration rights activists will gather at the same park before boarding a bus to travel to the small village of Crete, about 35 miles south of Chicago, where federal officials are considering building a nearly 800-bed detention facility for illegal immigrants slated for deportation.

Andy Thayer, one of the main anti-NATO protest organisers, said he expected many demonstrators from out of town to leave Sunday night.

But he said a strong contingent of protesters still will show up for the Boeing protest this morning and decried how city leaders and police officials have handled the protests.

"I am disgusted, particularly, with the upper echelon of our city," Thayer said.

Yesterday, several thousand protesters marched through downtown Chicago in one of the largest demonstrations in the city in years, airing grievances about war, climate change, economic inequality and a range of other complaints as world leaders assembled for the Nato summit.

But the diversity of opinions also sowed doubts about whether there were too many messages to be effective.

Some of the most enduring images of that protest were from a clash between a small group of demonstrators and a thick line of police who tried to keep them from the lakeside convention centre where President Barack Obama is hosting the summit.

The protesters tried to move east toward McCormick Place, with some hurling sticks and bottles at police. Officers responded by swinging their batons. The two sides were locked in a standoff for two hours, with police blocking the protesters' path and the crowd refusing to leave.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said 45 of those protesters were arrested. Police said four officers were hurt, including one who was stabbed in the leg. Some protesters had blood streaming down their faces.

Hundreds of protesters gathered late last night near the Art Institute of Chicago as first lady Michelle Obama hosted a dinner for spouses of Nato leaders inside. At least 100 Chicago police officers in riot gear were also at the scene.

The protests lacked the size and single message that shaped the last major protest moment in Chicago in 2006, when nearly half a million people filled the city's downtown to protest making it a felony to be an illegal immigrant.

AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

Recruitment Genius: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot