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article imageThousands took part in yesterday's anti-NATO protests in Chicago

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By Anne Sewell     May 21, 2012 in World
Chicago - Thousands of activists of all types took part in the anti-NATO protests yesterday. At least 60 people were arrested and several suffered head injuries from police batons.
Digital Journal reported yesterday on the recent demonstration against NATO, where several Iraq and Afghanistan veterans gave moving speeches and threw their medals towards the convention center where NATO delegates are meeting. The veterans stated that the medals they had been given do not represent the wars that they were fighting. The event at that stage was entirely peaceful.
Soon after this event, many riot police moved into the crowd with LRADs (long range acoustic devices) and gas masks. They demanded that protesters move along, away from the convention center, and at one stage kettled them in.
At that stage some protesters started throwing plastic bottles and paint balloons at the police, as they tried to get through the police lines. Police then used their batons against them and at least 12 people were injured.
An image which truly reflects the nature of events yesterday can be viewed here and another here.
Police have estimated that 2,500 to 3,000 people were present in the demonstration. However, the live feed appeared to show many more than this.
The protest consisted of Occupy Wall Street activists, protesting their opposition to NATO's costly and deadly wars, the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and many other people of all ages who are against NATO's policies.
After the violent clash with the police, protesters thinned out, but several hundred continued to march through the streets that night, as can be seen in the videos here. One of the most popular chants was, "We are unstoppable, another world is possible."
Several videos of the evening protest can be viewed here.
Tim Pool, the journalist responsible for the live feed was himself arrested along with several colleagues and interrogated by the police. However, they were released later. He also advised that during the day the apartment in which they were staying was broken into. They found the door open and the alarm sounding, but nothing appeared to have been taken. He was also involved in a minor clash between police and protesters, but was luckily not injured.
In the video above, Sara Flounders from the International Action Center told RT, "This was a really important demonstration that focused on “NATO criminal war machine.” People attending the rally were united in their “opposition to endless wars” and demanded “that the social needs here at home be provided for.”
Flounders stated that NATO "feels enormously threatened by the fact that right in the United States there is a denunciation of NATO, of its wars and a demand that the troops be brought home from Afghanistan. This is why it has spent a lot time saturating the media with “wild, completely inaccurate, fabricated stories about how the demonstrators are violent.”
“We really have to turn that around and say that it is NATO on a world scale that is responsible for violence," she added.
On Friday and Staturday huge anti-NATO demonstrations were also held with many thousands walking through downtown Chicago. The protesters say that there will be continuing demonstrations over the next days.
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