In Chicago yesterday, protests against the NATO Summit for 2012 turned violent as thousands of protesters clashed with police and security forces near the McCormick Place site. Over the weekend, the FBI arrested three anarchists who were allegedly plotting to bomb a Barack Obama campaign office. Yesterday, 45 people were arrested as demonstrators were forced to back away from the NATO Summit site. More protests are planned for today, including a march on the Boeing headquarters.
The protesters were a mix of many interest groups. Among them were anarchists, anti-war, anti-globalization, anti-capitalists, pro-green jobs, pro-immigration amnesty, and a new bunch, the pro-Robin Hood tax group, who dress in green and wear funny hats from Sherwood Forest. Police were very disciplined in their dealings with the crowds, only arresting those who were quickly identified as being violent. Four police officers were injured as some protesters threw bottles, rocks and even metal barricades.
Meanwhile, inside the multinational conference, leaders of the NATO Alliance discussed a wide variety of issues, such as the future role in Afghanistan and a ballistic missile defense system. One item that was not discussed was the ongoing unrest in Syria, which may threaten the region. Whoever was behind holding the summit in Chicago should have their head examined, since this is turning out to be a big mistake.
So we can expect more protests in Chicago today as the NATO Summit for 2012 wraps up. Thousands of protesters are vowing to march through the streets around the McCormick Place meeting site and may even assault the Boeing Corporation headquarters later today. All in all this is yet another round of egg-in-the-face for Barack Obama, whose failure as a world leader becomes clearer with each passing day. I′m sure the Chicago police, and small business owners in the area, will be happy to see the NATO Summit end and go away.