While no mass arrests took place, downtown loop fully militarized
VOICEOVER: While protesters denounced U.S. militarism abroad during the 2-day NATO summit, the city of Chicago found itself the target of a robust campaign of militarization. Enormous amounts of resources went into security preparations in the months leading up to the summit, and during the large demonstration held on Sunday, thousands of police officers flooded downtown Chicago, flanking protesters during the march and maintaining a constant presence throughout the downtown loop. Code Pink activist and anti-war demonstrator Medea Benjamin found the show of police force during the largely peaceful march to be excessive.
MEDEA BENJAMIN, CODE PINK: Chicago I think sets a terrible example for upcoming conventions like the democratic and republican conventions about how to treat peaceful protesters as if we were the terrorists.
VOICEOVER: Video has emerged of a police van driving into a crowd of pedestrian protesters and injuring at least one of the participants on Saturday night. On Sunday night, five citizen journalists of the Occupy movement were stopped at gunpoint and interrogated before officers attempted to damage some of their equipment and then proceed to follow them for several hours. The previous Wednesday, police raided a home without a warrant and arrested several Occupy activists who they say were planning on making Molotov cocktails to be used on targets in Chicago. At least 3 from the raid and an additional 2 suspects are facing terrorism charges. Their attorneys have suggested the involvement of undercover agents that infiltrated occupy groups. Kris Hermes of the National Lawyerâ€
KRIS HERMES, NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD (phone audio only): There have been immense shows of force by the Chicago police department and we have noted the targeting of journalists this type of activity is common at national security events and does represent an increased militarization of police this is not singular to Chicago when cities host these types of events thatâ€
VOICEOVER: The federal government has also played a leading role in the security planning for the NATO summit, likely because of all the heads of state visiting Chicago in attendance. A number of Chicago police officers received special crowd control training at the Department of Homeland Securityâ€
VINCENT EMANUELE, IRAQ VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR: The use of drones, riot gear, tactical operations that would otherwise be used in an armed conflict then being transported home and being used against the citizens we find this extremely problematic.
VOICEOVER: Some Chicago citizens like journalist and youth organizer Martin Macia worried about the lasting implications that the Chicago police buildup could have on local communities long after the conclusion of the NATO summit.
MARTIN MACIA, CHICAGO YOUTH ORGANIZER: The local municipal police department has spent a lot of money in purchasing more gear more riot gear more equipment so once this NATO summit is over youâ€
VOICEOVER: Chicago police did not engage in the mass arrest tactics seen in recent demonstrations over the past several years at events like the G-20 Summits held in Toronto and Pittsburgh. Only 45 demonstrators were arrested in confrontations with police after the conclusion of Sundayâ€