Anti-NATO protesters held a press conference Sunday to protest alleged police brutality.
They claimed that on Saturday night a protester was hit by a police van and that some were hit by police wielding billyclubs.
This happened after protesters wound their way around the South Loop for hours until late Saturday evening.
Occupy demonstrators allegedly stormed a police barricade at Dearborn and Washington, causing the officers to fall back into smaller groups to maintain the protests.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy separately told reporters that the police van was swarmed by protesters.
“He had to get out of there,” McCarthy said.
The protesters blamed the police.
“There is one set of individuals responsible for the police violence and that is the Obama administration and the Emanuel administration,” Chris Geovanis of the Chicago Independent Media Collective said. “We have struggled for months just to get permits to march from the delegates and the war they represent.”
Based on eyewitness reports from the group of demonstrators, as well as two different television news reporters and their cameramen, the van that struck a demonstrator was a police registered vehicle.
“We unequivocally denounce the police violence committed last night by the Chicago Police Department,” said Andy Thayer, an activist with CANG8. “This is something that we had been warning people about for months– that you cannot execute a war abroad without it coming into Chicago.”
Shortly after the press conference wrapped up, the Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. made an appearance to discuss issues of poverty, job loss and the tyranny of NATO.
“We need security at home. We need to stop factories from closing, jobs leaving and drugs and guns coming,” Jackson said. “So we think it’s an issue about resources. We cannot have our message hijacked from provocation of the police. I am convinced that if we march in great numbers, we will move forward by hope, not repressed by fear.”
Separately, Melissa Stratton, director of News Affairs for the Chicago Police Department, said that the three out-of-state men charged with domestic terrorism had throwing stars, swords, and improvised explosives in their possession.
They are each being held on $1.5 million bond.