Occupy Chicago readying for NATO protests

March 15, 2012 2:26:48 PM PDT
Although the G8 Summit has moved to Camp David, protestors say they still plan on coming to Chicago in May and they're making changes so they can move forward with what's expected to be a massive march on the NATO Summit.

Organizers of the protest movement say they are gaining momentum.

"Everyone that I have talked to in the protest movement has actually taken confidence from the removal of G8 from Chicago," said Andy Thayer. "It shows protest works."

Representative of several organizations announced plans to change the date of their march to coordinate with the start of the NATO Summit on May 20.

"In the city of big shoulders I hope the struggle for a world of true democracy will continue to grow and I urge you to join us May 20," said Mary Dean of Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

They had requested to march from Daley Plaza south to McCormick Place where the summit will convene.

The previous permit request was for May 19 when the G8 Summit was to convene, but with President Obama's announcement last week that G8 meetings would move the Camp David, local organizers declared a need to change dates and progress for the protest movement.

"When the G8 announced they wouldn't be meeting here registered nurses and the entire community saw this as a victory and is a sign of the strength of protest," said Jan Rodolfo of National Nurses United.

"The NATO Summit is still planned in Chicago so the convergence of activists and other socially conscious individuals and groups during the month of May is still intended," said Occupy Chicago's Mark Banks.

While president Obama did not cite concerns about protests, local organizers say the change in venue for G8 will motivate more people to join protesters in Chicago, as protesting in the mountains of Maryland will prove challenging.

The updated March permit has not been formally approved, but the mayor's spokeswoman says the city supports the rights of protesters to exercise their first amendment rights.