CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago police, who have a reputation for dealing toughly with protesters, will be prepared for the worst with new riot gear, including “sound cannon”, if demonstrators at the NATO summit get out of line this weekend.
America’s third-largest city and President Barack Obama’s hometown has never hosted anything like the meeting starting on Sunday, which will draw representatives from some 50 countries, including leaders of the 28 members of the military alliance.
The two-day summit is also drawing protesters from around the United States and beyond, most to protest peacefully against the NATO-led war in Afghanistan and economic inequality.
Protest organizers hope thousands will turn out to demonstrate on Sunday and march to the summit site at a sprawling convention center along Lake Michigan.
Police said they will be keeping a watchful eye out for anarchists bent on more provocative actions, and have ordered about $1 million worth of new riot gear, including face shields that attach to helmets and fit over gas masks.
* Interjection: MSM & the rabid libs always tout how the Tea Party is so danged dangerous. Did you EVER hear about police needing to order riot gear to deal with them?! -~ JP
They have also ordered armor for police horses and acquired two long-range acoustic devices that can be used as “sound cannon” to disperse crowds.
Critics say these devices can cause hearing damage. A police spokeswoman said they would be used to deliver messages to crowds.
“What I want to do is extract the people who need to be extracted,” Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy said of the strategy for handling protesters.
Police would not use their new riot gear unless it was necessary to control the crowds, he said in an interview broadcast on local radio on Tuesday.
There are fears are that the meeting could descend into the chaos of the 1999 World Trade Organization negotiations in Seattle, where window-smashing protesters ran wild. Since then, protests have become a fixture at such international meetings and police have become more sophisticated at handling them.
“Weapons of mass destruction and all those things that scare people at night – that’s my world,” Grant said, adding that precautions were being taken to detect any plots.
Today the ‘reported’ arrests are four from an immigration protest:
CHICAGO, May 15 (Reuters) – Four protesters were arrested on Tuesday when about 100 people opposed to U.S. immigration policy, war and economic injustice marched on a Chicago courthouse and then through downtown, police said.
In a week of expected protests leading to the start of a NATO summit, a Chicago priest, Rev. Jose Landaverde. from Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Mission and a woman were arrested after refusing to leave a federal courthouse that hears immigration cases.
SEE what CPD is going through from the video!
A group of anti-Wall Street Occupy Chicago protesters joined those opposed to U.S. immigration policy at the courthouse, and as the group marched downtown, two of the Occupy Chicago protesters were arrested.
On Wednesday, a downtown protest is planned that will call for a year-long moratorium on home foreclosures. ( So expect more arrests )
The largest demonstration is expected to be on Sunday, when organizers hope thousands will show up for a rally and a march on the Chicago convention center where the two-day NATO summit is being held to discuss the military alliance’s strategy in Afghanistan.
See Detailed report for Day One. My Goddaughter niece works in the building housing Obama’s campaign headquarters and told me via Facebook she is not worried because Chicago will not allow ‘anything’ to happen where Barry’s HDQTRS are.
* Check out this OUTRAGE:
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO said on Tuesday it had invited Pakistan to a summit in Chicago next week, lifting a veiled threat that it might exclude the country from the talks on the future of Afghanistan.