Portions of Lake Shore Drive and Interstate 55 make up part of the perimeter of a secure area during next month's NATO Summit and will be closed to traffic, protest planners said they were told Tuesday. The Secret Service won't confirm the details.
Portions of Lake Shore Drive and Interstate 55 make up part of the perimeter of a secure area during next month's NATO Summit and will be closed to traffic, protest planners said they were told Tuesday.
The rest of the security footprint, according to Andy Thayer, a spokesman for the Coalition Against NATO/G8, one of the protest groups, lays out something like this: the western boundary will be along the Dan Ryan Expressway. The northern boundary is fluid, from 21st street to West Roosevelt Road, moving based on NATO activities at the museum campus and Soldier Field. I-55 marks the south end, and the eastern border, of course, is Lake Michigan, with emptied-out harbors and shore patrol.
The Secret Service refused to confirm the borders Thayer outlined in a press briefing at the Dirksen Federal Building following their meeting.
Still, protesters said they were amending yet again their plans to march. Instead of ending their protest at Cermak and Indiana, they'll end at Michigan and Cermak.
That's one block short of where they'd received a permit and one block farther away from the action at McCormick Place. They're not happy about it.
"This is not a great deal," Thayer said. "The United States is very big about lecturing eastern European countries, for example, about being within sight and sound of whatever their object of their protest is. Michigan and Cermak is not [within] sight and sound [of McCormick Place]."
Security consultants Terry Hillard and Arnett Heintze earlier in the day met with building and business owners at the UIC Pavilion to assure them that May 20 and 21 summit would be roughly the size of a “small trade show" and that they had little to fear.