Published on 21 May 2012 by KevinLancasterify
Hundreds of protesters have hit the streets in the Midwest US City of Chicago, condemning the first NATO summit being held in the country away from the capital City of Washington.
Hundreds of people joined the last of several protest rallies on Saturday evening in the busy Chicago Loop area, marching downtown where scuffles broke out between demonstrators and police who used batons against the protesters and push them to the ground.
With massive police forces and protesters remaining on Chicago streets late Saturday, it was not yet clear how and when the night would wind up, local press reports said.
The Saturday evening incident was among the first major tensions between police and demonstrators in two days of protest rallies leading up to the Sunday commencement of the major NATO summit.
Tensions were not reported as high earlier on Saturday, when hundreds of protesters marched to the City Hall in the afternoon to hold a solidarity rally on behalf of three out-of-state individuals facing state terrorism charges.
During a number of marches on Saturday, helmeted police officers steered the direction of the protesters away from the affluent Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile section of high-end retailers and hotels where many of the dignitaries attending the NATO meeting are staying.
While the Saturday protest marches were reportedly largely spontaneous, the largest planned rally against the NATO alliance is set for Sunday, when the meeting opens amid the presence of a massive police force.