News / USA

Police, Protesters Prepare for NATO Summit in Chicago

TEXT SIZE - +
Kane Farabaugh
CHICAGO, Ilinois - The city of Chicago is hosting the NATO summit on May 20 and 21.  While NATO leaders are preparing for discussions on future cooperation, protesters are gearing up to demonstrate. 

Chicago native Jacob Cayia is looking forward to the NATO summit, but not because it boosts local businesses or promotes his city.  

With various world leaders in town, and the media that follow, Cayia wants to express his frustration publicly.

 “I think a lot of people are angry at the way the world is run today and these sort of international global networks,” said Cayia.

At protests organized to coincide with the NATO summit, Cayia and Gabe Gaster want to clearly convey those concerns, something Gaster says is often missing at other demonstrations.

 “What you get is people raising their voices and having their voices heard, but it’s not really clear what they are saying," said Gaster.

Cayia and Gaster plan to join thousands more on the summit’s opening day march to protest, among other things, global economic inequality and the NATO military mission in Afghanistan.

Organizer Nancy Rosenstock is hoping for a large turnout.

“We don’t know how big they’ll be, but we’re trying to get the word out as wide as possible," she said. "There’s buses coming from other Midwest cities, people coming from the east coast, and we’re reaching out as far and wide to people educating [them] about the role of NATO and what they do around the world.”

“I think the overall mood is one of excitement mixed with fear," said Professor Erik Gellman. His classroom at Roosevelt University overlooks Grant Park, where the march will start before it heads to an area near McCormick Place, where NATO leaders will gather.

“A lot of my students fear being arrested, fear being fined large amounts of money,” said Gellman.

Gellman says that fear stems from crackdowns on recent Occupy protests in the city. The Chicago Police Department enforced curfews for public areas and prevented people from setting up camps.

But the city is allowing protesters to march on May 20.  Breaking the law or causing violence is not on Jacob Cayia's agenda.

“Me getting arrested would really not be a benefit whatsoever, it would be a hindrance to the activity I would be able to perform," said Cayia. "But I’m out there to raise awareness and to get the message out.”

Which is the message Nancy Rosenstock wants to send to others planning to come to Chicago for the NATO Summit.

“We plan on organizing a peaceful, legal, family friendly demonstration,” said Rosenstock.

Those demonstrations will occur under the watchful eye of a beefed-up Chicago Police Department, joined by other state and federal agencies.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid