Wednesday 20 September 2017

Chicago braced for NATO protests

A protester takes part in one of the demonstrations during the week ahead of the NATO meeting in Chicago. Photo: Reuters
A protester takes part in one of the demonstrations during the week ahead of the NATO meeting in Chicago. Photo: Reuters

David Usborne in Chicago

Chicago is bracing itself for violence this weekend, when the leaders of Nato will arrive for a high-profile summit on the shores of Lake Michigan.

As many as 10,000 protesters are expected to descend on Chicago, US President Barack Obama's home city, for the event. And the city police department is readying itself for trouble.

New riot gear has been purchased, including "sound canons" that emit noises intolerable to the human ear, and armour for the police horses.

About 2,000 active-service military as well as soldiers of the National Guard are on hand to help the police department. The Secret Service is in charge of protecting the summit site itself.

Protesters began arriving from across the US yesterday, representing a variety of interests from anarchists to anti-globalisation agitators. Above all, adherents of the Occupy Wall Street movement, have vowed to turn out in force.

While a march is planned for tomorrow ahead of the leaders coming -- a companion G8 summit for Saturday that was to have been in Chicago was relocated by Mr Obama to Camp David in Maryland -- the big day promises to be Sunday when Occupy hopes to stage its biggest demonstration.

"What law enforcement is doing, and rightly so, is hoping for the best and preparing for the worst," said Jeffrey Kramer, of private security consultancy Kroll. (© Independent News Service)

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