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A Week of Protest Ahead in Chicago

Occupy Chicago and a roster of aligned organizations announced on Thursday a wide range of activities leading up to next weekend’s NATO summit.

Representatives for Occupy Chicago, The People’s Summit, The Mental Health Movement, Iraq Veterans Against the War, National Nurses United, the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda, Chicago Indymedia and The Barefoot Summit explained the actions they have planned and some of the inspiration behind them.

“From May 12 through 24, join us in opposing the NATO war machine,” said Zoe Sigman of Occupy Chicago.

The People’s Summit will lead off the activities with more than 40 workshops on topics ranging from the media to childcare collectives.

Jesse McAdoo said The People’s Summit will provide a venue to discuss the future of the 99% and “show Chicago what democracy looks like.”

Jan Rodolfo, Midwest Director of National Nurses United (NNU), said, “Registered nurses will not have their voices silenced.” But Mayor Emanuel recently revoked the union’s permit for a May 18 rally. Rodolfo said the NNU plans to march regardless.

Rodolfo said the union is marching in favor of a .5% Robin Hood tax on financial speculation and in opposition of fiscal austerity.

“Austerity is food being taken from the mouths of children,” said Rodolfo.

Occupy participant Andy Thayer said that he felt uncomfortable estimating how many protesters would come out for the NATO summit, but that his email load has been “off the charts since December.”

“Only two people we know wanted this thing here: Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel,” said Thayer.

“If we send the message that we have no faith in whoever is in the Oval Office after November, I see that as a victory,” he said.

Iraq Veterans Against the War marching in Bost...
Iraq Veterans Against the War marching in Boston at the New England Anti-war Mobilization. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aaron Hughes, who spoke on behalf of Iraq Veterans Against the War, said he is tired of his brothers and sisters in the military suffering from failed policies.

He recalled seeing a group of children on a roadside when he was first deployed to Iraq and thinking, “these are the kids I’m here to help.”

Fifteen months later the kids were still there. His superior cried as they left the country: “‘what have we been doing?’” said Hughes.

“I think it’s time these generals start asking themselves the same question,” he said.

“We are going to be marching; we are going to be returning our medals. Not for protest, but to start healing,” said Hughes.

David Meyers is organizing an event called The Barefoot Summit, which he described as “a love letter from the people of Chicago to the world.”

Set to take place throughout NATO weekend at the Petrillo Band Shell, The Barefoot Summit will feature local talent of all types. Meyers said he wants to give anyone a chance to be heard, from bands to speakers, and plans to represent as much of Chicago as possible.

A full list of protest events can be found below.


May 12

People’s Summit

10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

500 W. Cermak, Occupy Chicago Space


May 13

People’s Summit

10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

500 W. Cermak, Occupy Chicago Space


May 14

Chicago Day of Action for Education – Money for Education not for War

3 p.m.

555 East 51st Street


May 15

End Immigration Detention: No Human is Illegal

11 a.m.

525 W. Van Buren – Detained Immigration Court Building


May 16

Actions to Demand A One-Year Moratorium on Foreclosures and Evictions

10 a.m. Rally at Jackson and LaSalle

10:30 a.m. March to Citibank. Homeowners facing foreclosure will speak.

11 a.m. March to Daley Plaza


May 17

Occupy Chicago Day of Environmental Action: Bring Bike; Get Dirty

2 p.m. Bring Bike: Mass for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation: Jackson and LaSalle.

3 p.m. Rally outside of the Canadian Consulate: 180 N. Stetson Ave.

3:30 p.m. Get dirty with Occupy Chicago against the Alberta Tar Sands and the environmentally destructive agendas of NATO and G8.


May 18

National Nurses United: Chicago Rally to Protest the G8 and Global 1%

11 a.m. March:  Sheraton Chicago, 301 E. North Water St.

12:15 p.m. Rally at Daley Plaza, 118 N. Clark.


Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice

9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

People’s Church, 941 W. Lawrence.

28 workshops and speakers from national labor, economic justice, peace, immigrant rights and Afghanistan.


May 19

Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

(Day Two) 28 workshops and speakers from national labor, economic justice, peace, immigrant rights and Afghanistan.


NATO Popular Assembly

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

800 S. Halsted, Jane Adams Hull House Museum

A facilitated, public discussion regarding how you and your group, community or organization wants to respond to the NATO Summit on the 20th and 21st.


May 20

Iraq Veterans Against the War and Chicago Against NATO/G8 March

235 S. Columbus, Petrillo Music Shell

10:30 a.m. Tom Morello

11:00 a.m. Rebel Diaz

11:30 a.m. Anti-Eviction Campaign and Southside Together Organized for Power performers: Fearless Leading by the Youth, Frank Mu and Mic Terrist.

12 p.m. Speakers

2 p.m. Begin March to McCormick Place

3:15 p.m. Veterans medal return ceremony at Michigan and Cermak.


Chicago Against NATO/G8 March – Environmental Contingent

235 S. Columbus, Petrillo Music Shell

12 p.m.


May 21

Shut Down Boeing (Occupy Chicago Event)

100 N. Riverside, Boeing International Headquarters

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