The NATO summit is taking place in Chicago and demonstrators were planning another massive day of protests. Monday marks the second and final day of the NATO summit and employers in downtown Chicago told their employees to stay home for the day in order to avoid a major traffic headache in the area. The world leaders in attendance are discussing such topics as the war in Afghanistan, security issues and European missile defense. The protests over the weekend brought thousands of protestors to Chicago, with the majority of them being peaceful. Police and protestors clashed towards the end of the day on Sunday.
Beginning on Monday morning, police were already in place at the Boeing Corp. headquarters in anticipation of protestors from the Occupy Chicago group. The entrances to the building were blockaded too. Close to 24 rail stations for Metra were closed despite the responsibility of carrying 14,000 riders per day. Larger amounts of police officers and K-9 units were patrolling stations and platforms along the rail line while 24 buses were being rerouted by the Chicago Transit Authority.
There were plenty of seats on the trains and buses, which was a sign that most people heeded the advice of their employers to stay home from work until the Summit ended. There were some changes though to the rules. These included not being allowed to bring food or drinks on the trains and buses and passengers could only carry one bag.
“The no food or beverages — that’s the only inconvenience,” said Pete Dimaggio, a credit manager. “Now I have to buy my lunch. They are making me spend money.”
It was expected that the protests would be smaller on Monday than they were during the weekend, according to Andy Thayer, who is one of the protest organizers because most of the out-of-towners would leave come Monday morning. Following the demonstration at Boeing, the protestors were traveling to the town of Crete, which is 35 miles from Chicago. Federal officials are planning to construct a detention facility for 800 illegal immigrants who are scheduled to be deported.
“I am disgusted, particularly, with the upper echelon of our city,” Thayer said.
There were several thousand protestors marching through downtown Chicago on Sunday, which makes it one of the largest protests in the city in quite some time. The protestors discussed climate change, war, economic inequality and much more. President Barack Obama was the host of the NATO Summit. Protestors were forced away from the summit’s location by police on Sunday. Some protestors threw sticks and bottles at police officers when trying to march east towards the summit at McCormick Place. Officers had to respond to the debris by swinging their batons at the protestors. During that skirmish, 45 protestors were arrested and four police officers were injured, including one officer who had a leg stab wound.