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City Puts NATO Protest Approval in Writing

City approves CAN-G8 rally Sunday complete with 30-foot stage and sound system

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Andy Thayer, leader of the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CAN-G8), finally has it in writing.

    An email from the City of Chicago states Thayer's group has been approved for a rally at the corner of Cermak and Michigan this Sunday, complete with a 30-foot stage and sound system.

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    "The city says they're going to sign off on that this afternoon and we're very pleased with that," Thayer said.

    CAN-G8's goal is to give anti-war veterans a voice at the front of this weekend's march, Thayer said. "And I should add that this is the only permitted march that is going to be marching on the NATO summit."

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    With a very real threat of violent protests in mind, the city announced it will bring in additional officers to help this weekend: 700 state troopers, dozens of suburban cops and officers from as far away as North Carolina. 

    But the group that assembled at McCormick Place Tuesday morning reiterated its message that their march is "legal, permitted and family-friendly."

    "We are committed to peacefully marching," Thayer said.

    National Nurses United is even putting that commitment in writing.  

    "All of the folks getting on buses from around the country are signing personal non-violent pledges on their way into Chicago," said Jan Rodolfo, a nurses spokesperson.

    When asked about those planning to come to Chicago specifically to incite violence -- the so-called "black-bloc" anarchists -- Thayer and others stopped short of discouraging them from starting trouble.

    "There are some people who say the troublemakers will be meeting over here," said Pat Hunt, member of CAN-G8, pointing at the convention center.

    "I think any discussion of violence that focuses on what's happening here in Chicago totally misses the boat," Thayer added.