“Chicago has a reputation for resisting,” including a 2003 demonstration against the Iraq War that flooded downtown Chicago with 10,000 people, said one of Thursday’s protesters, Salek Khalid, a 21-year-old student at Northwestern University. “I feel comfortable saying Chicago will live up to its reputation, hopefully peacefully.”
Police and the Secret Service have taken no chances, as Obama and 50 heads of state begin arriving for the NATO summit, where leaders will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense.
Security is high on trains. Barricades and fences have been erected around landmark buildings. Streets are being closed. And world-class museums are shutting down.
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Thursday that the protesters so far “have been very well behaved.” He said he did not anticipate that the tenor of Friday’s rally would be different, but that if it is, “We are going to carry through with what we said we were going to do. We’re going to facilitate the rights of these individuals while preventing criminal actions.”
Associated Press writer Jason Keyser contributed to this report.