City Approves Alternate Route for NATO Protesters - NBC Chicago

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City Approves Alternate Route for NATO Protesters

Protesters see it as a small victory, but "not out of the woods yet."



    The City of Chicago has approved a permit allowing hundreds and potentially thousands of protesters to march on an alternate route during the NATO summit next month.

    On Wednesday the city granted the Coalition Against the NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda a permit to march on May 20 just before the 5 p.m., according to a press release from CAN-G8

    The march will go westbound on Jackson to State Street, south on State to Harrison Street, east on Harrison past the military recruiting office on Harrison to Michigan Avenue, south on Michigan to Cermak Road, east on Cermak to Indiana Avenue with a rally in the street on Indiana between Cermak and 23rd Street, the release said.

    The group says they feel it’s a small victory because the fees to use Petrillo band shell in Grant Park have been waived in addition to the approval of the permit.

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    However a request by CAN-G8 for support to prevent federal authorities from putting up a security perimeter and forcing a change in the route has been denied.

    "The experience with ‘National Special Security Events'” elsewhere has been that just weeks before the events, the Secret Service swoops in junks the permits granted by local authorities, setting up yet another permit battle on the eve of the event, so we're not out of the woods yet," CAN-G8 stated in the release.

    Last week organizers said they would consider a proposal to march on an alternate route after they appealed the city's decision to deny their permit request altogether in court.

    Originally, CAN-G8 requested a permit that would allow them to march in Daley Plaza but the city denied the request because of transportation, congestion and security concerns that come with the larger NATO summit.

    City leaders for months have touted Chicago's ability to handle both the G8 and the NATO summits along with all the accompanying protests. Protesters argue that if police numbers were an issue, then the city should have declined hosting the summit in the first place.