Any suggestions of widespread chaos and confusion during the NATO summit in Chicago this weekend are overblown. So far all gatherings by visiting protest groups have been well organized and peaceful.
Yes, there have been a few reports of isolated incidents of trouble. But thus far, most mass gatherings by the visiting protest groups, have been well organized and peaceful. The city of Chicago and other agencies, have done a good job allowing the groups to exercise their right to free speech, moving around as they please; with minimal reports of arrest.
Thousands of people from around the the country, if not the world, have arrived in Chicago. They began converging on the city earlier in the week by the bus-load, to take part in a mass protest during this weekend's summit. With the NATO summit in town for the weekend, protesters know that this is their opportunity to let their voices be heard on everything from financial reforms to health care and world peace. The first official protest was held yesterday in Daley Plaza. The Plaza, which is located in Chicago's central downtown area known as the loop, played host to hundreds on Friday. National Nurses United were joined by several other protest groups as they seek legislation for a tax on the transactions financial institutions make. The tax, a so-called Robin Hood tax would help off-set the cost of cuts that are being made in health care and social services. Their rally concluded with a concert by Occupy activist and former Rage Against the Machine guitarist, Tom Morello.
Separate from the actual protest themselves.Chicago Police received information regarding a a planned attack using Molotov cocktails at the campaign headquarters of President Obama, which are also in downtown Chicago. As well as the home of Chicago Mayor, former chief of staff to both Presidents Clinton and Obama. Rahm Emanuel. Three men were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism. " These men were here to hurt people." Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez said in a post arrest news conference. The summit itself officially begins tomorrow and concludes on Monday. More protest are planned throughout.