Serene Sunday is interrupted to report from sunny, hot Chicago. The NATO summit meeting is starting today at McCormick Place, just 9 blocks south from me. Meanwhile, in Grant Park, the protesters are expected to hold a rally and then march south on Michigan Avenue a block away, to the site of the summit. Needless to say, the area is a bit anxious.
So far, demonstration have been pretty peaceful with a few scrums with police. But nobody knows what could happen if more violent elements join. Downtown and the South Loop has been preparing for this like the coming of WWIII. Police and private security are crawling all over the place. My building is on semi-lockdown. If we aren’t instantly recognized, we need ID to get in and out, pedestrians and motorists. Anything that can used to throw or smash have been removed. All the streets around me are now blocked off. Lake Shore Drive is closed which is almost unheard of. Many of the businesses have boarded over their windows. Choppers are flying back and forth. I’ve not seen anything like this.
Right now it seems like everybody is out walking the dogs and milling around in pockets. Nobody knows what will happen. Hopefully it will be a non-event.
In the meantime, enjoy Peace Train by Cat Stevens.