G8/NATO Summit Protests Start Heating Up
Perfect Storm May be Developing for Mass Showing
From Plato to NATO, May 17, 2012
So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. - John 2:15
Eight buses of folks from Occupy Wall Street groups across the country began rolling into Chicago last night, while 17 buses with National Nurses United members should start to arrive today. The 99% Spring coalition of labor unions, faith groups, and community organizations has also organized bus trips from several major US cities and national peace and justice groups are also sending delegations. Last night, during a talk about the Bradley Manning trial by a Firedoglake blogger at a local Revolution bookstore, I met people who had driven into Chicago from North Carolina and New York, and there's no telling how many folks are driving in cars, taking public buses or trains, or flying commercial to get here.
The influx of thousands of out of town demonstrators arriving in Chicago should correlate into an increase in the size of street demonstrations Thursday, but the National Nurses United rally for a financial speculation tax on Friday will be the first real test of movement strength that could gauge if the G8/NATO summit protest mobilizations will meet or exceed turnout expectations, or underperform. Friday's nurses' march needs to turn out at least 2,000 people to meet expectations, and if that happens, then things look good for a strong showing at Sunday's coalition march, which could turn out between 10-20,000 people. Those kind of numbers would be enough to carry significant momentum into Monday, the second day of the summit, when a large-scale civil disobedience action is being organized to shutdown Boeing's national corporate headquarters.
But for all the attention on out of town demonstrators, the real variable at play here is local Chicago turnout. If the broad-based organized left in the third largest city in the country mobilizes, than we could see a perfect storm where as many as 50,000 take to the streets on Sunday. Those kind of numbers would far exceed expectations and truly signal a resurgent social movement this American Spring.
The overt police presence in Chicago also seems to be increasing as the week progresses, with more and more patrol cars and bicycle cops in all corners of the city. Movement spaces also appear to be under surveillance, as uniformed officers in unmarked police cruisers have been frequently spotted outside convergent centers and other spaces. Some activists have also reported being briefly detained by police while eating at restaurants or coffee shops. Police have asked for photo ID and may be trying to build a list of names or dossiers on out of town organizers and activists.
Below is a list of movement spaces folks traveling to Chicago this weekend should keep in mind:
Occupy Chicago Convergence Space
United Church of Christ
615 West Wellington Avenue
(Secondary space: 500 W. Cermak)
Catholic Worker Sanctuary and Safehouse
Holy Innocent Convent
1447 West Superior Street
White Rose Catholic Worker Mess Hall
Week Without Capitalism
6932 North Glenwood
Health and Wellness Street Medic Center
Grace Place, third floor
637 South Dearborn Street
Chicago Indymedia Media Convergence Space
1000 N. Milwaukee (at Augusta)
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David Goodner is available 24/7 at or david.a.
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