After a peaceful Daley Plaza rally that police estimated drew fewer than 3,000 people, members of the National Nurses United boarded buses while several hundred Occupy protesters and their supporters headed into the Loop for small spontaneous marches. Groups of 200 to 300 protesters snaked their way toward the Michigan Avenue bridge.
Around 1:15 p.m., Chicago police officers started handing out fliers to the crowd reminding them the protest ends at 2 p.m. (Matt Walberg, Chicago Tribune)
A look back at the first rally of NATO weekend in Chicago, where thousands of protestors from National Nurses United and a variety of Occupy chapters marched to Daley Plaza on Friday, May 18, 2012.
Tom Hayden in the House JUST like stirring up stuff in the 60s. Tom Hayden was married to “Hanoi” Jane Fonda (1973-1990) Tom Hayden ,Senator, founder of MoveOn.org, is former Weather Underground. Fellow Weatherman like Bill Ayers & Bernardine Dohrn .
Protestors marching on Wacker Avenue after the National Nurses United rally at Daley Plaza in Chicago on Friday, May 18, 2012. Protest during NATO weekend in Chicago, including National Nurses United march and rally. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)
Loop retailers see negative impact from summit
Chicago Police keep guard on the north side of the Michigan Avenue Bridge as protesters and an occasional pedestrian comes through their line. (Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune)
The lack of employees working in Chicago’s Financial District is not surprising to local retailers, given NATO’s presence, but it is definitely having a negative impact on business.
Protesters at the Michigan Bridge over the Chicago River after the National Nurses Rally Chicago. (Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune)
A group of about 100 protesters did make it across the Michigan Avenue bridge, but the group dissipated as they headed north on Michigan Avenue.
Once north of the river, the group was blocked from walking in the street by police officers on bicycles, and so the protesters took to the sidewalk on the east side of the street.
As protesters approached, officers called to each other, “shields down,” and pulled down face protective shield on their bicycle helmets.
A line of officers on bicycle had formed a wall between the sidewalk and the street, but the group of protesters appears to have mostly broken up.
A NATO protester rips a NATO banner from the bridge house on the Michigan Avenue bridge. (Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune)
The two groups of protesters that had been marching through the Loop converged at Michigan Avenue shortly before 3 p.m.
Police, who had allowed the groups to wander through Loop streets largely unrestricted, stopped them halfway across the Michigan Avenue bridge, not allowing them to go further north.
On the bridge, one protester in a black shirt and Mohawk jumped up and pulled down a NATO banner on the bridge. Police officers quickly surrounded him, put him on the ground, and handcuffed him. One police officer appeared to strike her head on the bridge during the incident. Another protester obtained a police officer’s baton and threw it across the bridge.
Two groups of marchers converging in Loop
Chicago Police momentarily stop a march on Randolph Street before letting protesters through after the National Nurses protest rally at Daley Plaza. (Scott Strazzante, Chicago Tribune)
Two groups of protesters who left the Daley Plaza rally in different directions are cutting winding paths through the Loop and onto Michigan Avenue.
Police on bikes and others on horseback were following the groups as they snaked onto Michigan Avenue and off.
Police are allowing them to use the street and stopping cross traffic.
One of the groups has as many as 200 people and the other has more than 100 people.
Getting Around: NATO head’s trip to Wrigley will close some streets 2:21 p.m.
Wrigley Field may be miles away from this weekend’s NATO summit at McCormick Place, but that doesn’t mean the NATO event isn’t going to foul traffic in that area too.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will be at Saturday’s 6:15 p.m. game with the White Sox to throw out the first pitch, and according to the city’s Department of Transportation, that’s going to affect four streets in the vicinity of the ballpark from about 1.5 hours before the game to about 1 hour after.
Sheffield Avenue and Clark Street will be closed from Roscoe Street to Grace Street and Addison Street and Waveland Avenue will be closed from Wilton Avenue to Racine Avenue.
On Friday and Sunday, regular Cubs parking and traffic restrictions are in place, the agency said.
The agency also said that “these measures may be revised as needed.”
A protester is detained at the National Nurses protest rally at Daley Plaza in Chicago. (Scott Strazzante, Chicago Tribune)
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy estimated the crowd between 2,400 and 2,800. He said there were no arrests.
Near the end of the rally, there was a confrontation between police and a protester, whom other protesters described as a “medic.”
The protester was removed from the area by a police officer. Protesters then yelled at the police officers before leaving the plaza.
Musician Tom Morello, formerly of the band Rage Against the Machine, speaks at National Nurses United rally. He took the stage and played several songs. Video. Morello finished up during a small scrum between protesters and police. The rally is beginning to disperse. Nurses are getting on buses.
With Daley Plaza about 75 percent full, tour buses, some yellow school buses and police vehicles lined all sides.
A line of uniformed officers is watching crowd. Clustered in the middle of the crowd are groups of three or four uniformed officers in regular street garb. Quite a few have visible zip cuffs on them.
Fencing about waist-high lines Clark Street along the plaza, open only at the crosswalk for the County Building/City Hall complex.
Groups of uniformed police officers are standing in front of the fencing on the plaza.
National Nurses United protest fires up in Daley Plaza. (Zbigniew Bzdak, Chicago Tribune)
Vendors working the crowd are selling T-shirts that read “The 99%: Too big to fail.”
VIDEO: Protesters fill Daley Plaza