Chicago ready for NATO
After months of anticipation and preparation. The city of Chicago is set to host the 2012 NATO summit this weekend. 60 world leaders and their staffers will attend the event.
NATO or the "North Atlantic Treaty Organization," is an alliance of 28 nations originally formed to defend itself against then Super Power Russia. Since the Soviet Union dissolved, NATO has played a role in many worlds conflicts. Including Libya and Afghanistan. Today, NATO
engages in missions of peace, disaster relief and war. Because of this the city is also expecting thousands of protesters opposed to NATO's mission, seeking to have their voices heard.
The protesters are something that the visiting dignitaries should be accustomed to, and the city is well prepared. Planning for and allowing peaceful protest to take place a good distance from the summit. Keeping the peace throughout. "We're equipped, we're trained, we've been studying and learning." Chicago Police Superintendent, Garry McCarthy said at a recent press conference. The actual site of the NATO summit itself, (McCormick Place) and the surrounding area, have already been swept and are under the tightest of security details. The Chicago Police, Illinois State Police and The Secret Service are among many agencies, working together to insure that the 2012 Chicago summit is safe, secure and peaceful for the visiting NATO members, protesters and city residents alike.
Residents and businesses within the security zone will have to endure restricted access, street closures and parking restrictions. A small price to pay as the city looks forward to the opportunity to showcase and live up to its world class distinction without incident. The city does not want a repeat of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago in which protest and dissension in the streets of the city, spiraled out of control. "Heads were cracked, tear gas billowed, police lines advanced through demonstrators and television cameras captured some of the graphic scenes." That year, during that convention. Justified or not. The city picked up the moniker, "Czech-ago." for its aggressive handling of protesters
But today, with a well thought-out and planned security detail. The city hopes to capitalize on the exposure and capture some of the shine that the NATO summit brings along with it. All eyes will be on the city of Chicago
. A fact not lost on former Chief of Staff for Presidents Clinton and Obama. Favorite son and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
"That exposure highlights this great metropolitan international city and the investments and economic opportunity and job growth that comes with it. A lot of our economy depends on that type of investment and they see a city that they otherwise had only read about or had one image on." Chicago Mayor Rahm Emauel
, said in a recent interview. Let the 2012 NATO summit begin, take place and end. In peace..