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NATO Heads for Chicago
by Stephen Lendman
Posted May 11, 2012

Backhawk helicopters over ChicagoDozens of NATO heads of state and other top officials plan attending. Large delegations are coming with them. So are similar partner nation contingents. The Chicago Tribune and Sun Times reported on elaborate security preparations. Hundreds of state police and National Guard forces are involved. So aren’t thousands of Chicago cops.

Secret Service staff also will be out in force. The ACLU said they’ll set up a security perimeter around McCormick Place. Part of Lake Shore Drive will be closed. It’s one of the city’s main arteries. Enormous amounts of anti-scale steel fencing will be erected. Thousands of linear feet of concrete barriers will be strategically placed. Secret Service spokesman George Ogilve declined to give specifics. The ACLU threatened court action unless details are released well in advance.

At issue are fundamental freedoms. They include speech and assembly rights. They’re also about police refraining from crackdowns on nonviolent protesters. Will Chicago respect what NATO and Washington never do on so-called “liberating” missions? Activists want to know. The city has an odious reputation. More on that below. Permits were granted for six protest events. Other groups got them earlier. Chicago cops cracked down anyway. A Secret Service/Chicago police business panel session revealed one planned tactic.

“Extraction teams” will snatch and grab protesters from crowds. Who for what reasons wasn’t explained. More…