Protesters hold peaceful rally at Obama headquarters

May 21, 2012 (CHICAGO)

President Obama is in the last day of NATO meetings.

About 100 to 150 people gathered at Union Park on the city's Near West Side Monday morning. From there they set off for Boeing, which is about 2.5 miles away, by heading east on Lake Street.

They rallied outside of Boeing for a bit, saying Monday's protest is more of a celebration and a victory party in front of the Boeing headquarters, which is open- but working with a reduced staff on premise- for the day.

"The Boeing Company heard the word loud and clear that anti war demonstrators from all over the world were going to come to their headquarters to shut them down today. That's why they told their employees to stay home," Rachael Perrotta, protester, said.

"They are making billions of dollars off of America's wars abroad, and this is money that could be going to schools and other urgently needed social services here in the city," Andy Thayer, protest organizer, said.

Fencing surrounds the Boeing building. The company, which did step up security Monday, says the fencing is part of a planned construction project.

Then the group continued to the Prudential Building, near Randolph and Michigan, where Obama has his campaign headquarters. They sat down in the street and continued their peaceful protest.

The protesters do not have a permit for Monday's march or rally. Police, including Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, are accompanying the group.

"We have been doing this on a regular basis. It is not that big of a crowd. This is pretty easily managed by our guys," McCarthy said. "We have an unscheduled protest. We're facilitating the protesters, keeping them safe, and helping them express their First Amendment right to free speech."

When asked about Sunday's protest that turned violent and in which several officers were injured, McCarthy said "Everybody's OK... One guy, the most significant, got stabbed in the leg. Typical of a Chicago cop, he was back on the line last night."

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