University of Chicago Economics Department

Potential Targets Of Chicago NATO Summit Protestors Identified

The days sure are flying. And in nine weeks the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will be holding its meeting in Chicago on May 20-21. When it was announced this year’s G8 summit had been moved to Camp David, from surfing various websites/blogs it became clear to me that a number of Chicagoans actually believe many protestors who originally planned on coming to the Windy City in May for the dual summits would either change their travel plans and head out to Camp David (not knowing the “camp” is actually Naval Support Facility Thurmont, a U.S. military installation) or not bother showing up at all, the rationale being the G8 meeting is the “juicier” target.

Yeah, right. In the wake of the G8-to-Camp David announcement, protest organizers let it be known they are still coming en-masse. And I believe them. Because as crazy as it sounds, they have a chip on their shoulder. Don’t these “nattering nabobs of negativism” know the global financial system and U.S. economy are recovering and will soon be firing on all cylinders again?

Enough sarcasm. I saw this on the Occupy Peace blog’s main page today:

A European contingent is expected to attend this particular protest. It is hard to estimate what attendance will be, but it sounds like the preparations are being made with about 100,000 people in mind.

100,000. I’ve come across this number before (of course, no one knows for sure). With a “European contingent” to boot. The Europeans are pros at this stuff, and while Chicago can hope for their peaceful involvement, they’ve been known to shake-and-bake host cities in the past:


“Anti-NATO crowd burns hotel & border post”
YouTube Video

Chicago residents are probably curious as to what the NATO summit protestors will be targeting in May. Providing some insight is Paul Street, who wrote in this weekend’s edition of the bi-weekly political newsletter CounterPunch:

Making the city’s planned twin “Global Crossroads” gatherings yet more problematic for local and national elites including Obama, the president’s “home city” (Chicago) is full of strong protests sites beyond summit headquarters. Potential targets include Emmanuel’s City Hall (a bastion of corporatist metropolitan union-busting, clinic-closing, prison-stocking, school- and social service-privatizing); the hyper-affluent near-North Side Gold Coast, whose multimillion-dollar mansions and condominium apartments and posh restaurants and art studios stand in sickening proximity to 15 city neighborhoods where more than a quarter of the children live at less than half the notoriously inadequate U.S. poverty level; the University of Chicago Economics Department (a leading player in the infection of the world with the inequality- and poverty-spreading disease of neoliberalism); the downtown headquarters of the Boeing Corporation, maker of the Predator Drone, the B2 Stealth Bomber, and the Blackhawk Helicopter, to name just three deadly Boeing technologies the Pentagon has purchased (at massive cost-plus taxpayer expense) to murder tens of thousands of innocent civilians, including countless small children, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen.

An especially juicy Chicago protest target is top corporate Democrat Obama’s 2012 downtown re-election campaign headquarters (located in the Prudential Building at 130 E. Randolph St.). Obama’s center of operations “looks more like a company than a campaign. For the last year,” the New York Times reported two weeks ago, “an office that appears nearly as long and as wide as a football field has steadily grown, with more than 300 workers now sitting bunched together….a payroll of $3 million in January suggests the staff is larger than any ever assembled for a presidential race.”

Stay tuned…

Source:

Street, Paul. “Won’t You Still Please Come to Chicago?” CounterPunch. 23 Mar. 2012. (http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/23/wont-you-still-please-come-to-chicago/). 23 Mar. 2012.

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Friday, March 23rd, 2012 Civil Strife, Europe, Government, Recovery Comments Off on Potential Targets Of Chicago NATO Summit Protestors Identified
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