The prESENCe of tHe 2012 nATo MeeTing iN ChiCAgo Drew tHOuSandS iN PROtest. ResidENts ANd tRaveLErS aLike hiGHLightEd inteRSeCTioNs bEtwEEn MiLitARism, WEaLTh iNEquAlitY, HEAlTh cAre, AnD DeMOCRAtic cOrRUPtioN WiTH weEks of ACtion CuLMiNaTinG AT thE MAY 20 SuMMiT.
ThE noRtH atlAntiC tREaTY oRgANiZAtioN, aN iNtErnaTiONal miLITary ALliaNce COMprisED oF the U.s., CanADa, and most OF EuRope, iS best kNowN fOr itS invOLvemEnt iN AFghaniStAn AND tHE reCent iNtERvENTiON in lYbiA.
MAY 19 - seveRaL hUndrEd MARcH TO RAHM eManuel'S ChiCaGO ABOdE tO cONfront HiS DeCisiOn To CloSe 6 OF the city'S 12 mEnTAl hEALTh CliniCs. raHM SAYS this iS TO sAVE thE CitY $3 MilLion, Yet tHE ultimaTE COST to The ciTy for tHe SumMit is liKeLy TO be MUch higHer aNd waS DisasTrouS FOr loCAL busiNEsSes AnD PubLiC traNSiT.
ULTimAteLy THe reAL Victims aRE thE pAtiEnTs, Many Who nOw wiLl be wiThout ACcesSiblE tReaTmeNT.
heaLtHCARe iS A RiGHt - not JUst fOr tHe riCh and WhiTE! MAYOR Rahm, mAyoR raHM - DON'T CUt HeAlThCAre FOr mY mOm!
thEY WeRe Met By a BicycLE blOckaDE stRETCHiNg DOwN RAHM's BLOcK.
pRoteSTers gATheREd PeAcEFULly, AiReD GrieVanCES, ANd cOntinued On WiThout PoliCe iNTerfEReNCE. iT Was a stArk ConTrAsT To wHat FoLlOwEd thAt NighT.

Marchers cONgregAte in tHE streEt ouTSide RAHm's hOUSe.
tHis MaNiFEstS iN BoLdeR acTionS like barRiCaDe REMovAl AND DE-ArRESTiNG CoMRades.
SoMe ArREsTS aRE maDe, bUt AS thE POliCE NUMBers sWeLl anD MOre strEeTS ARe BLoCKed, diRecT ConFROntatiOns SoMewHaT ominoUsLy suBSiDE.
mArCHERS weRE keTtled inTO aN inTERSectioN FOR ABout 15 MinUTES bEFoRE POliCE fUnNelLed them DOwN To tHE gRaNT PARK enTrANcE.
aFteR bEinG hEld tHeRE FOr hALF AN HouR, ProTEStErs bROkE thrOugh ThE NorThErN police liNe AnD spED UP tHE StreET.
VerMin SuprEme LiGHtENed thE moOD A liTtLE: "aTtentiON Chicago POlICe DEPARtMenT. pLEase surRENdEr iMmEDiateLY. WE hAve YoU sUrROuNDEd wiTH LovE. pleasE come OuT wiTh youR pAnts down aNd yOUr hANDS up."
May 20 - THOuSAnDs Led bY MEmbeRs OF iraq VEteRanS against THe WAR March TO aN intErSECtion JuSt WESt Of tHE SuMmiT. iN A MoVInG cerEmONy THey rEtirE a U.S. FLaG, And pResEnT AN aFghan flAG tO AFGhANS FoR Peace. oNe By OnE, almosT 50 VetEraNs sPeAK aND discARD THeir mEDAls.
mY nAMe is BRocK MciNTOsH. I Was iN THe ArMY nATioNal GUARD anD SerVeD iN aFGhAnistAN FrOM NOvEMber '08 To AugUst '09. tWO MONtHs aGo, I visITeD thE monumeNT AT GROUnd zero foR my firsT Time With twO aFghANs. a TRAGic moNUMent. I'M goINg TO Toss thiS mEdal tOday for The 33,000 ciViLiANS wHo hAvE died in AFgHaNisTAn thAT wOn't hAVE A moNumenT bUiLT for THEm. AnD THiS iS for tHE AFGHan YOUth PeacE VolunTEerS.
my name iS vinCe EmANuelE, aNd I served WiTH tHe uNiTeD sTATEs MaRine cORpS. fiRST anD FOREMOst, THis is FOR THE pEopLe Of iRaq ANd afghAniSTAn. SeCoNd oF all, thiS is FOr Our rEAl FOREfatheRS. I'M taLKinG AbOut ThE STUdENt nONvioLeNt COOrdinAting CoMmiTtEe. I'm tALKinG ABout THE bLacK pantHeRS. I'M TAlkiNG ABouT tHe ciVil riGHts MoVEmeNt. I'M taLking abOUT uniONs. I'M TALKinG ABouT OUr SoCialiST brotHERS aNd SisTerS, OUR comMUnist BROTheRs And SisTERS, ouR AnaRchiSt BRoThERS and sisTerS, AND OuR EcOLoGy BROtHERS and siSTErs. ThAT's WhO OUr REAL FOrEfathERS aRE. aND LAsTLY and mOSt imporTANtly, our EneMiEs arE Not 7,000 mileS from hoME. ThEY Sit iN BOARdrooMS. tHEY ARE CeOS. ThEy aRE BankERS. thEy Are hEdge FuNd MaNaGeRs. ... oUr ENEMiES ARE riGHt herE, ANd We lOok At THEM evERY DAy. tHeY Are NOT THE MEn ANd wOMEN WhO ARE sTAndiNG on thiS pOLiCe Line. tHEy ArE the miLliONaiRes And BilLioNAires whO coNTROl THis PlAneT, aNd we'VE Had eNOUGh OF it. so ThEy caN TAke their meDalS BAck
MY nAme iS JaSon hurd. I SPEnT 10 YEARS iN THE UNiTEd STatEs ArMY As a CombAt MeDIc. I dePloyeD tO bAghdAD iN 2004. I'M HeRe tO rEtUrn MY glObAL waR oN tERRORiSM service MEdAL iN solidaRity wiTh thE PEopLE of iRaQ AnD thE peOPle Of afGhANisTAn. I AM DeEply sOrRY fOR THE DeSTrUctioN ThAT WE havE caUSEd in those cOUNtRiES and aroUNd thE glOBe. I AM PRouD to stAnd on tHiS StAGE With my feLlow vetERANs AnD My aFghAn SisTErs. thESe WerE lieS. I'm giviNg THem bACk.
MY NaMe iS shaWnA, aND I wAS A nuClear BioLoGiCal cHemiCAl SPEciALiST fOR A WAR THAt didn'T HaVE anY wEApONs of masS DeStRUCtion. So I DEsErtED. I'M onE Of 40,000 PeoPLe tHat LEFT THe uniTeD sTAtes ArmED FoRcEs bEcaUse THiS is A Lie!
My namE is StEVen luNN. I'M A twO-TiME irAq COMbAT veteRAN. THiS MEdal I'M deDiCaTiNg to tHE chilDREn Of iRAq ThaT NO lOngeR hAVE fAthErs aNd MOThERS.
hi. my NaME is ZaCh lApoRte, aND I'm AN iraq wAr VetERaN FrOM MiLWAuKEE, wisCOnSin. tHAnk YoU. I'm GiViNG baCK my MeDaLS TODaY bEcAuse I fEEL likE I Was dupED iNTO aN iLLEGAl WAr That WAs sOld To mE on The guisE THAt I Was GOinG to Be LiBERaTinG ThE iRaQi pEoPLE, wHen InsTeAD Of LiberaTinG ThE pEoPLe, I was libERating thEir Oil FieLDS.
my namE iS MiCHAEl ApPleGaTE. I waS in tHe uNitED stATEs nAvy FrOM 1998 To 2006. AND I'm rEtuRNinG mY MEdAL todaY BecAuse I WaNt to LivE By My consCiENce rAthEr thaN BeiNG A PRisOner oF it.

"THE CeREmoNY tHAT iRaq VETerANS agAinST ThE WaR AnD afGhAnS fOr peACE ParticipAted iN at tHE eNd Of thE biG raLLY ... WAs incredibLY MoviNG aNd I tHINK WAs vERy EfFeCTiVE aND ACTuALlY quitE RADICaL. A LOT of ThE tHINGs thAT THEse meN and woMEn Had tO SAY Were nOT JUSt abOuT HoW BAD the waRs weRe bUt reALlY QUEStiOniNg tHE ASSUMPTions oF EmpiRE." - JeSsE MyerSon

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AT thE eNd Of THe CEreMONy, THe VEtS aSkED eVERYonE tO move wesT WiTh Them.

One of a FEw sNiperS spoTtEd
SOME PEOPle mOVE wEsT, BUt WhEN IT beComES CleaR ThAt otHeRS aReN'T in THE mood, tHe pOlIcE doUbLE-up thEir LinE iN AntiCiPAtion.
PoliCE sQueEzE in ON PRotEsTErS, AND THe eLdERLY wOman KnoWN TO Many AS GrANDMA Or nAna Tries UnsUcCEssFuLlY TO diFfUSe tHE situATiOn.

"AN oLd lAdY wiTH A walker...GOt iN fRonT of [tHe PrOTEStErs] AND iMplored thEm Not To [Move eASt]. And ThEY maDe A DECiSiOn AS a GRoup TO gO ArouND hER...AnD tHEY DeCided THAT THeY Would WAlk tHROUgh ThiS liNe Of cOPs. thEy LinKed aRmS anD puT ThEiR WEIgHt fOrward, and SLoWly MaRched uP To THE POlicE LinEs. and OncE ThEY GOt therE And diDN'T HAVe aNywhERE eLSE to GO Except thRoUGh thE PoliCe, ThE poLice baTterED ‘eM BaCk someTHiN' fiERcE." - JesSE Myerson

"ThERE'S pOlicE bATons aNd PEOpLE wErE like tHrOwiNg WAter BottLEs, aND Y'kNOw, SignPOSTS at tHESE copS tHat Are in LiKE inCrediBlE miLitaRy GradE liKe gaZA stRiP/SeREjevo bATtle FatiguEs. ThiS EViAN bOtTLe iS REAlly gOnNA AfFEcT Them a LoT." - JesSE Myerson

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pROtEsteRS came AwaY bATtEred And bLoOdiED.
SOoN THe tEnSion erRuPts anD POLice indescRiMinANTly BEAt PRotESterS.

One of many protesters bloodied by police in yesterday's NATO protests in Chicago #nato #natosummit #natoprotest…

Fuzzy / Adam Konner (@linesarefuzzy) May 21, 2012

" From a female comrade at Chicago who was attacked by police thugs yesterday - @RahmEmanuel @Chicago_Police Loo"…

Occupy Together(@Occupy2gether) May 23, 2012

This guy has 8 stitches, thanks to Police baton to the head from yesterdays #NATO protest. #NoNATO #OccupyChicago…

Stun (@57UN) May 21, 2012

Protester beaten by police with batons; #NATO #OWS protest in Chicago.…

Minerva Divine (@minerva_divine) May 21, 2012
NAna bEiNG eScorTeD aWAy whilE oTHERs Are viOleNtLy ARresTEd.
Police maDe A ToTaL OF 91 arReSts THAt wEeKEnD, CLOSE to 60 AT tHis aCtiON ALone.
StATe pOlice COMe Up thE Now-EMPtY NoRTh siDe, AnD a DispeRSAl oRder is isSUED OveR AN lRad - a DevicE DEsigneD TO diSPeRsE cRowdS witH HiGHly DiSOriENTiNg SOunds WavES.
AS aRrESTs CoNTinue, ofFiceRS CoralE pRoTESTERs aNd Media DoWn tHE siDEwaLK.
OFficer Osborn particularly seEms almost cartoOnishly viLlainous.
His tatTOo reads: "hilLBiLly"
While bEing
movEd, a prOtesTEr
joViAlLy poiNtS out An aNT
On tHe cUrB to an ofFiCER
in bLacK riot geaR.
At first he
HESitaTes, perhaps
contemplaTing the symbolism,
but then hE brings his BoOt down
with GlEe.

PolIce ARE CElebrAtOrY WHIle tAKing PicturEs, anD Some LATER CoMmemmorAte The EveNT wiTh t-SHiRTs thaT ReAD: "We wokE up eArly - to beaT tHe crowDS"

Cop playfully crushed an ant on the sidewalk with a smile. Again, seriously.

Luke Radl (@lukeradl) May 20, 2012
aFTer THE Event, ArRESTs WeRE StILl BEing Made BloCks AWay. minOr (OR INVEnteD) InfRACTions COupled wIth REVOlutioNaRy APpEarAnCe ALmoSt GuArAnTeed poliCe engagemEnT.
tHE wHOLe thinG sMAcKed of intimiDatiON ANd the mESsage WaS cleAR: cOme OUT and we'LL GeT YOU.
sOMe oF The diSPersED MarCHERs eVEntuAlLy rEGROUPEd AND rEcoNVeneD at tHE ARt iNStiTUTe OF CHicAgO.
PrOteSTs conTiNUEd for anoTHEr FEw DAyS With actiOns At bOeing ANd obAma's chiCaGo CamPaiGn HeadquaRTerS, As weLl AS jAil SOLidARitY.
"Even lOoKiNG LiKE An anARcHisT wAS DaNGerOUS iN cHiCaGO. SEvERAl bLoCkS AwAY, On THe waY TO The tRAin sTaTION, A grouP oF AbOuT 10 riot copS STaRtED folLOwinG tHE TwO of us, gLEeFUlLY SMACking ThEir VinTage biLLYClUbS into THeir OPEN PalmS." - Liz

ouR VoiceS hAve AN impaCt, and ThEse waRS AREN't GONNa EnD UNlESs vetEraNS LiKE us STAnD UP. ANd We stArT tALking abOUT OUR ExperiEnCes. … I REAlLy jUSt wAnt peoPlE TO kNOw tHaT We'Re NOt ThAt dIFfEreNT than moSt pEople. We jUST WaNt PEAce In THe WorLD aND wE'Re wilLiNG to staNd uP anD fiGHT FoR WhAt we bElieve in.

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WE Can CALl iT ThE "OcCUpY MovEMeNt" fOR nOW, but it iS THe Thing thaT's KickiNG OFF alL OVER tHe WORlD Of popULar rESPoNSeS to thE eXcEss Of GLOBaL cApiTALiSm. AND thE DeMand to trANSiTioN into a gLOBAliZEd SYSTEM - aN inTeRNAtiONAliST SystEm THat thRiveS ON sOLiDAriTY aNd MuTuAl AiD aND SusTaiNAbiLitY and a SoRt OF NeW POLiTiCs.

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About The aUtHOr

Luke Radl is A freElance ArtisT and wEb desiGner. HE does OngoinG wOrk for CitiZEN RADio aNd We'rE Not BROke, anD wAS RECeNTlY PUBLisHeD BY Dark HorSe COmics. He can be found ON twiTter and His BLOG.

TimEline Of Luke's nato live-twEeTs