Of course the big story of this NATO fiasco is one that I held off on until it was confirmed. There were conflicting reports yesterday. See: NATO summit Chicago: Three men face Terrorism charges ‘City will Never be the Same’
Excerpts of charges against NATO protesters
Read the full proffer HERE
* Supporters of arrested trio gather outside courthouse. About 30 supporters for the three criminally charged protesters gathered outside the Cook County Criminal Courts building at 26th and California eagerly awaiting the start of today’s bond hearing.
William Vassilakis, who said he hosted the out-of-state trio at his apartment before police arrested them, said he came to the courthouse today to support his friends.
“I’m confident that these charges are bogus,” a subdued Vassilakis said, before declining further comment.
No major demonstrations are planned today in Chicago
Protesters move on from North Side 3:30 p.m.
~ Still getting away with camping out at least two locations…
The sun rises over protesters outside of Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ on Saturday morning. — William DeShazer, Chicago Tribune, May 19, 2012
Dylan Kelley of Vermont shaves after sleeping outside the Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic in Chicago with other Occupy protestors and members of The Mental Health Movement. — Keri Wiginton, Chicago Tribune, May 19, 2012
Haley Maine of Lansing, Mich., center, and Robert Fountaine of New York, right, brush their teeth at their campsite outside the Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic. — Keri Wiginton, Chicago Tribune, May 19, 2012
The mental health protesters on the North Side dissipated today, with a few getting on trains to head downtown for a solidarity march in support of three out-of-state men arrested on terrorism conspiracy charges.
After moving on from a spot near Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house, the protesters headed to Lincoln Avenue, Irving Park Road and other nearby streets, sporadically stopping at intersections to sit down.
Christopher Colon, Chicago, and Angie Pray, Portland, Ore., wear hospital gowns as they go door to door on Saturday morning, canvassing Rahm Emanuel’s neighbors about where they can find mental health care since they mayor closed some of the clinics. (Michael Tercha, Chicago Tribune)
Protesters sit in street near mayor’s home
~ This should make Rahm/Obama proud:
Patrick Rapacz, 17, of Chicago, heads out to canvas Rahm Emanuel’s neighbors on Saturday morning, asking them where they can find mental health care since the mayor closed some of the clinics. (Michael Tercha, Chicago Tribune)
~ I wonder if Rahm got Blago’s house being it is in the exact same neighborhood.
* Heightened security in effect for commuters. Elsewhere in the Chicago area, the security crackdown implemented for the NATO summit that starts Sunday didn’t seem unduly burdensome on commuters, many said.
* Sources: Informants used in probe of protesters. Two informants were working with Chicago police before officers raided a Bridgeport apartment this week and arrested the men accused of planning to hit President Obama’s campaign headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house and police stations with molotov cocktails, sources have told the Tribune.
“The city doesn’t know what it’s in for,” an undisclosed defendant is quoted as saying in court records.
Weinan Li of Chicago holds up his 15-month-old son Eric while a U.S. Customs agent wands him at the security checkpoint leading to the museum campus. Li and his family planned to go to the Shedd Aquarium which was closed today. Security was tight on and around the museum campus with streets partially closed off and part of Lake Shore Drive closed down. — Chuck Berman, Chicago Tribune, May 19, 2012
* Protest winds through Lincoln Square, Ravenswood:
~ Must admit I like this one:
Police guard Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s North Side home Saturday as a small group of protesters gather targeting the NATO Summit and city healthcare cuts. — Michael Tercha, Chicago Tribune, May 19, 2012
Several hundred protesters headed toward the mayor’s house marched down Montrose Avenue, spilling into the street and moving around parked cars as police walked with them on foot.
Drivers watched, some snapping photographs of the crowds, which marched past city parks.
“Whose streets? Our streets!” they shouted.
Parents clutched their small children as the protesters marched by. They lined the fence of the playground and watched.
“Hey Rahm Emanuel! Take your cuts and go to hell!” the crowd shouted. They’re protesting the mayor’s mental health cuts.
Some marched arm in arm, shouting, “We are unstoppable, another world is possible.”
* Several hundred protesters gathered in Horner Park on Chicago’s North Side. See Video
Amtrak Police K-9 Unit officer Sgt. M. Stoltz handles K-9 dog “Ryder” as he sniffs Amtrak passengers before they board the Saluki southbound train departing Union Station in Chicago on Saturday. The passengers were subject to screenings and searches. The Saluki train runs under McCormick Place where the NATO Summit is taking place May 20-21. — Heather Charles, Chicago Tribune, May 19, 2012
* Empty suitcase halts Metra Electric trains 10:13 a.m. at 56th Street near the scene where a suspicious package is being investigated.
A Chicago police officer looks through a piece of luggage at the scene where a suspicious package was found near Metra tracks seen here in Chicago on Saturday morning. The was removed by the officer and transported in his car. Trains were stopped for an hour and a half on the Metra Electric District line on the South Side while authorities investigated a suspicious package that, according to authorities, turned out to be an empty suitcase. — José M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune, May 19, 2012
* Bikes, strollers navigate security along the lake 9:07 a.m. Megan Zehel and Mike Chorvat found their customary bike ride down the southern section of the Lakeshore Trail was interrupted by NATO security measures early Saturday morning.
A line of city snow plow trucks parked along Balbo Drive from the Lakeshore Trail nearly to Michigan Avenue blocked roads and pathways into the south end of Grant Park.
* Restrictions kick in: Metra crackdown, parking bans, road closings 8:17 a.m. The streets bordering Wrigley Field will be off-limits to traffic Saturday night and an expanded stretch of Lake Shore Drive will close for seven hours on Sunday as part of extra security for NATO summit dignitaries, officials said Friday.
The new road closings and inconveniences are in addition to extensive changes previously announced — widespread parking bans, CTA bus reroutes, a Metra crackdown on what passengers can carry on board and even restrictions on pedestrians and bicyclists.
It’s all aimed at creating a larger security bubble for visiting world leaders.
An Occupy protester sleeps outside of the Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic as The Mental Health Movement and Occupy Chicago collaborated to protest closured of mental health facilities by the City of Chicago. — William DeShazer, Chicago Tribune, May 19, 2012