After months of uncertainty, Chicago had its first day of NATO protests with many more to come by the end of the summit by Monday night. Since Chicago Mayor Emanuel announced it over nine months ago that Chicago would be the summit location, many have speculated what this would mean for Chicago socially, politically and financially. For many traveling to Chicago from all over the world, this is only the beginning of what is to be a generational moment.
Many within this generation have only seen clips of the dogs in Mississippi attacking protesters demanding an equal voice or the beatings by police in the 90’s that lead to the burning of Los Angeles. The protesters at Daley plaza seek to speak for those without a voice in places that NATO has occupied. This weekend is the time to exercise your right to assemble if you want to call attention to what needs to change around the world. The launch party for protest will begin on Sunday at Grant party at 11:30am.
Today’s protests were small in size, but demonstrated to the police that the foundations of a true movement are assembling. To give praise to Chicago police for their ability to observe as well as not interfere, it gives hope that the end of the NATO summit even will see the police as people in this moment.
As we took photos at the corner of Jackson & La Salle as the Occupy protesters carried signs stating ” we are the 99 %.” We realized that some bystanders didn’t realize why these people were protesting when we overheard them saying ” I’m never coming back to Chicago, is this what they do here on Fridays?” With the passion seen in the occupy activists, by this time Monday, they will know that this is where democracy stood its ground against oppression.