NATO Summit

NATO Protests Kick Off Monday, Arrests Follow

English: Barack Obama delivering his electoral...

English: Barack Obama delivering his electoral victory speech on Election Night ´08, in Grant Park, Chicago. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eight protesters from the Catholic Worker Movement were arrested Monday during a peaceful demonstration outside President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters in Prudential Plaza.

Roughly 100 protesters attended the rally, but only eight refused to leave and were taken into custody. This demonstration was the first of what is expected to be many protests this upcoming weekend of the NATO Summit.

Various activist groups have planned a series of demonstrations and marches, highlighting topics such as poverty, the environment and education during the May 20-21 NATO Summit in the city and the May 18-19 G8 summit at Camp David in Maryland.

“We are here today to boldly proclaim our desire to live in a world where we say no to NATO and yes to community,” said Chantal de Alacuaz from Chicago in a press release from the Chicago-based White Rose Catholic Worker posted late Sunday night. “As Catholic Workers, we serve the poor by practicing the works of mercy — feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, taking care of the sick and the works of war are directly opposed to that.”

According to the release, the plan was to “invite Obama and other NATO leaders to break bread over a symbolic meal to discuss how to transform NATO from an instrument of war and empire into an instrument of peace and love that embodies the biblical works of mercy instead of the works of war.”

Video by Steve Rhodes from Youtube.com

As the eight protesters were led out of the building in handcuffs, other demonstrators danced and sang folk songs and gospel music, handing rolls to commuters, reported The Chicago Tribune.

“We see NATO as using up a lot of resources in the city and the world,” said Jesica Arents, a member of the group.

Those arrested were charged with criminal trespass, according to NBCChicago.com.

Article originally published on Chicago Talks

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