Thousands Rally Against NATO in Chicago

Police Clash With Demonstrators, Arrest Several

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Chicago again today, demonstrating against the NATO summit, with a focus on condemning the ongoing NATO occupation of Afghanistan. The size of the rallies was somewhat lower than expected, likely owing to the unreasonably hot weather.

Rows of veterans were among those at the march. Dozens discarded their war medals, calling them “symbols of lies.” The first, Jerry Bordeleau, announced that “I choose human life over war.”

As with yesterday, the demonstrators were steered around side streets by large numbers of police, who responded with baton attacks every time the marcher tried to move in an “unapproved” direction or became too boisterous. There were considerably fewer clashes today than on Saturday, likely again owing to the fatigue caused by the heat, but police still arrested a number of protesters, and by the end of the day at least 60 were arrested and a number of others wounded.

Though protests centered on the area around the summit itself, a smaller protest was also reported today around the home of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel. The protesters were criticizing the mayor for centering budget cuts on health programs, while keeping the massive police force untouched.

Chicago police have come under considerable fire in recent days both for their heavy-handed treatment of protesters and for reports that they planted evidence on Wednesday night when raiding an apartment at which several protesters were staying, then arrested the protesters as “domestic terrorists.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.