Occupy takes aim at Chicago NATO meeting

They came to fame occupying Wall Street.

Now the protest movement has NATO in its sights.

ADVERTISEMENT
A group of Occupy Wall Street movement leaders gathered from across the country in St. Louis this weekend, where they said they are planning protests for the May NATO summit that will be held in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reported.

While the Group of Eight meeting, focused on economics, had been the Occupy movement's bigger target, Occupy members said the G-8’s move to Camp David will only boost the number of protesters in Chicago for the NATO summit, as they see they can have an impact.

"G-8 left, I think, directly out of fear," Brian Bean, a Chicago demonstrator who came to St. Louis to organize for the NATO meeting, told the Tribune.

“What they are worried about is that, in an election year, the possibility that there's actually working-class resistance in the United States and globally and what that would look like in Obama's home city,” he said.

Bean also said that the Chicago police have been “training for urban warfare,” which would make camping out in public places — a staple of the Occupy movement — difficult.  

When President Obama was asked about the switch for the G-8 summit at a press conference last week, he said security wasn’t an issue, and that the switch was made so the leaders could meet in a more informal setting.

“I always have confidence in Chicago being able to handle security issues,” Obama said. “Whether it's Taste of Chicago or Lollapalooza or Bulls championships, we know how to deal with a crowd.

“And I'm sure that your new mayor will be quite attentive to detail in making sure that everything goes off well,” Obama said, referring to his old chief of staff, Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

NATO leaders are expected to announce a more definitive timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan at the Chicago meeting.