Chicago Braces for the NATO G8 Summit

By Syeda Khan

Staff Writer


Summer in Chicago is just about to get even crazier with the NATO G8 Summit coming to town. According to the Huffington Post, NATO Summit is summit meetings, or a meeting of heads of state or government that meet to discuss, evaluate, and provide strategic direction for alliance activities.

Many people are against the NATO G8 Summit for many reasons according, one chief reason being that the summit encourages globalization of the world’s economy, or the spread of western capitalism to developing countries.

Others oppose this meeting because they want the G8 Summit to do more than expand the economy; they want to them to solve big problems such as third-world debt and the spread of HIV.

In addition to the G8 summits, next week the City Council of Chicago has to vote on whether a downtown federal lockdown would become part of the security plan. According to Huffington Post Chicago, a number of security measures are going to take place, including putting a large security perimeter around McCormick place that would prevent people from walking or driving in the area. This same rule will also apply to people going to the Loop, and a number of street closures will also be expected.

Other rules included in the security plan are doubling fines for resisting a police officer, the current range of $25 will increase to $1,000, and restricted hours will be put in place for playgrounds, parks, and beaches.

Just this past week, the city has also issued a protest permit to the Coalition against the NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda; Mayor Rahm Emanuel expressed his concerns regarding the first amendment promised right to protest. All these security measures taking place, this will cost the city a lot of money; the mayor hopes to get help from private donors to help finance the security cost.

Many people are very angry with the new set of rules put into place; the Chicago Coalition Against War & Racism called the new rules “ridiculous.” I personally agree with both the mayor and the coalition for we as American citizens have every right to protest. Of course, it must be in a civil manner, but this year has proven that officers have no problem arresting and penalizing regardless. I also think that, considering the current economic crisis the city is facing, adding more costs for such a harmless right dramatically increases the economic strain.

Many world leaders, including President Barack Obama, are expected to attend this event which is expected to give restaurants, shops, and hotels a revenue boost. Even many Chicago politicians believe that this event will bring a lot economic development to the city,ut only for a short period of time.