It’s that time of year again… NATO Summit weekend. There’s a sentence I thought I’d never say. This weekend Chicago hosts the 2012 NATO Summit. This is the first time the NATO Summit has been held in the US outside of DC, and it’s definitely causing Chicagoans stress. The G8 Summit was originally planned to be in Chicago this weekend, too. Thankfully that was moved. But this NATO thing is causing a fairly sizable disruption – protesters, major road closures, extra security in residential buildings, limited grocery store delivery (seriously), etc.
First of all, what the heck is the NATO Summit? And does anyone even know what NATO really does? I’m not so sure. But what I do remember from high school social studies is that NATO is suppose to be a good thing. An alliance. Right? That’s what I thought. Apparently, there are thousands of hoodlums who think differently. Side note: I can vividly see my American Studies teacher writing on his chalkboard, teaching me things that I no longer remember. But I cannot for the life of me recall his name, and he was even my tennis coach for two years. Derrick something. Wow. Was high school that long ago? I’m having a senior moment. I keep repeating “Derrick” in my head and all that comes to mind is Derrick Hough. Ha!!
Anyway, protesters have been coming in by the busload to protest the NATO Summit and various other things. Fortunately, I haven’t witnessed any of the major protests in person but I have been following the happenings on the local news. I can’t help but think these people are not truly protesting with a cause. It looks more like a festival of sorts – a fun excuse for these people to congregate, dress in costumes and think they’re starting a revolution. Every single protester that I have seen interviewed on the news just says “we’re here to protest the NATO Summit.” Really? Because I had no idea that’s why you came here. Why don’t you actually explain what you are protesting and convey your point? Obviously you are in town for the NATO Summit so tell me something I don’t know. I think a lot of the protesters are part of the occupy movement, another thing I don’t really understand. I’m not the only one who doesn’t get their message — I’ve asked my friends, my coworkers if anybody knows what they’re protesting. I haven’t gotten a solid answer yet.
It just bothers me that these people are coming into our city and “protesting” something that they can’t even seem to verbalize. I’m sure that they actually have a point – let’s hope they do. And maybe it makes sense.
Probably maybe it doesn’t. But protesting in this way seems highly unproductive. Basically, they are dressed in weird clothes/costumes and they’re marching in the street. Does anybody think that the NATO diplomats are actually going to take these people seriously? Today, I saw a dozen of them skipping down the street dressed like Robin Hood. There were men on TV dressed as clowns. One guy on TV had the world “kill cops” written on his body. I rest my case.
Speaking of cops, I cannot believe how prepared the city is to deal with violence. There were literally hundreds – maybe thousands – of cops walking around downtown in droves today. They were standing on every single block. They were parked in cars. They had sniffing dogs. I felt quite safe!
There are still three days left of these shenanigans. I’ll let you all know if I find out the protesters’ message. In the mean time, my real concern with this weekend is getting to work! I work night shift Saturday and Sunday so I’m hoping I can maneuver my way to work without too much delay. My parents and my husband all left town for the weekend so I’m left alone here to fend for myself among the kooks! Wish me luck! =)
Have a great weekend you guys! xxoo as always, ltw