The anti-NATO demonstration in Chicago on Sunday was peaceful. But when the demonstration ended, so did the peace. The demonstration was polite, featuring Iraq and Afghanistan veterans taking off their medals and tossing them toward the building where the NATO summit is taking place. The demonstration took place a half-mile east of the McCormick Place convention center.
Those in the crowd cheered, clapped and held up the two-fingered peace sign. But when the program was over, some in the crowd of thousands wouldn’t leave. A small number of people engaged with police, pushing, shoving and throwing water bottles. That prompted officers, many in helmets and riot gear, to push the crowd to the west, at one point creating a hazard with the crowd being pushed toward a temporary fence with no way out. The result: 45 arrests, four cops injured, some protesters injured, and it took several hours to disperse the crowd.
Later Sunday, a protest cropped up near the Art Institute of Chicago, where first lady Michelle Obama was hosting a dinner for spouses of NATO leaders.