Ward Room
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NATO Protesters Accept City's Parade Route Offer, With Stipulation

Organizers want city's offer in writing by next week

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    Update: Protest permit approved...

    Organizers planning protests to coincide with the start of the upcoming NATO Summit said Friday they'll accept the city's proposed, alternate route, but only if they put it in writing.

    "We want city offers in writing," said protest organizer Andy Thayer.

    The city's route offer has protests beginning at Grant Park's Petrillo Band Shell and snaking to the 2300 block of South Indiana Avenue, blocks away from McCormick Place, where world leaders will be meeting.

    "We have thousands and thousands of people who will march with us," said protester Joe Iosbaker.

    The group -- Coalition Against the NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda -- had applied for a parade permit to start at Daley Plaza and end at McCormick Place. The first application, submitted before President Obama moved the G8 summit to Camp David, was approved. But the group's second application, identical aside from one day change of date, was denied.

    The city said a parade through the Loop would hamper public safety and strain city resources. An administrative judge on Thursday upheld the city's contention.

    "Even though we had a defeat yesterday, we have had victories," said Iosbaker. "We expect to be in sight and sound ... If they take it away ... we will fight in federal court."

    Protesters said they want the city's offer in writing by the middle of next week.