Days before summit, anti-NATO voices louder than ever
Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
“One part gasoline. One part motor oil. Soak the rag at the top. Light and throw,” explained “Tuesday,” a participant of the Occupy Chicago movement.
Friday, May 18 the trickle of revolution that has been softly sliding into city limits will erupt into a flow of protests, marches and rallies in response to the arrival of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Chicago’s McCormick Place. Although the summit itself is only taking place May 20 and 21, the opposition to NATO has already been lining the streets.
The political-military alliance consisting of 28 countries has capitalized on maintaining security and stability around the globe for the past 60 years. The organization has played a role in ending the Cold War and stimulating the need for communication as well as cooperation among conflicting states.
In the past year the world has seen its fair share of conflict. Standards of living have decreased, corporate monsters have debased the meaning of integrity, and the economic recession still forecasts a dismal outlook.
“Having the rulers of all nations gather in one place is a good time to speak your voice,” said “Puck,” another member of Occupy Chicago.
Beside Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and United Nation’s Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, NATO’s website boasts about 10,000 participants. This includes 7,000 delegates and 2,000 international journalists. However this astounding number does not include the anarchists, protesting college students or the self-proclaimed “99 Percent.”
“I’m not politically active or informed enough to attend,” said DePaul sophomore Eric Richardson.
Regardless, the amount of people involved with this historical event has police and participants seriously considering the implications of potential violence.
“There’s definitely a limit to people’s patience with nonviolence,” said Puck with a foreboding tone.
Although Chicago officials support the First Amendment rights of protesters, they are not afraid to fight back in the event that peaceful protesting turns violent. The United States Secret Service is the head federal agency working in partnership with the White House and U.S. Department of State to enable security and logistics during the NATO Summit. The Secret Service is also collaborating with the FBI, FEMA and Chicago’s emergency unit.
In an article from Chicago Magazine, Gary Schenkel, the executive director of the Office of Emergency Management stated, “We are determined not to shut down Chicago… We want to keep the city as open as we can.”
However, this statement seems nearly impossible when the city anticipates rolling street closures and fixed no-traffic zones. DePaul’s own Loop campus is going to be completely shut down Monday due to commuting difficulties.
“Tuesday” added, “I think we might see our first martyr.”
With NATO entering the confines of Chicago, it seems like a major catalyst of bringing the term revolution into effect. There are countless marches, protests and vigils going on all over the city, most of which are marketed to the masses on Facebook and Twitter.
“Puck” stated, “Just being there is enough. Online activism is huge. You can participate just by making a tweet or a status.”
However, it’s important to realize what groups like Occupy are contesting as they bus in more than 5,000 members from cities like Oakland and Seattle.
“We have already started making changes. There’s been a huge increase in the awareness of wealth inequality,” said “Puck.”
Other changes the Occupy Movement would like to see is a disruption within a system that conflicts the proletariat, anti-capitalist movement. Overall, the NATO summit is setting the stage for any citizen to protest against corporations that pollution of our government.
“The beautiful thing is that solidarity is being displayed all over the globe,” “Tuesday” stated.
Whether Molotov cocktails are thrown or peaceful candles held, there is no question that the anti-NATO voice will be heard this weekend.