By Robert McCoppin
Occupy Chicago will join with fellow demonstrators in the large formal marches planned for next weekend’s NATO summit but also plan their own protests, including one aimed at Boeing Co., organizers say.
Occupy joined with other protest leaders to outline 10 days of “direct action,” starting with free bus rides from other cities, participation in a series of rallies and protest, culminating in a march downtown by thousands of locals and visitors that Sunday, May 20.
The effort brings together a range of disparate groups: nurses, veterans, Occupy protesters, and mental health advocates. Their common message is that tax dollars for the military and weapons should instead be spent on social needs like schools, health and housing.
The May 20 march will feature Iraq Veterans Against the War who will give up their service medals to demand NATO’s immediate withdrawal from the war in Afghanistan, organizer Aaron Hughes said Thursday.
City plans for the summit, on May 20 and 21, call for numerous restrictions on parking and closings of roads and downtown museums, to deal with both visiting dignitaries and protesters.
But Zoe Sigman, of Occupy Chicago, said the group would proceed without regard for city permits and aimed to “shut down” Boeing’s main office May 21, a Monday.
“Boeing is a corporate war criminal that profits off violence on a massive scale,” she said. “They’re receiving huge tax cuts from the city of Chicago while they’re making money off of death and war.”