Thousands of demonstrators upset with the war in Afghanistan, climate change, and the erosion of union rights marched through downtown Chicago today, taking their discontent on a wide range of world issues to leaders assembled for a NATO summit. The protest, one of the city's largest in years, was to end at the lakeside convention center hosting the two-day meeting, which is focused on the war in Afghanistan, European missile defense, and other international security matters.
Some participants called for the dissolution of NATO, the 63-year-old military alliance that is holding its 25th formal meeting in Chicago. It is the first time the summit has been held in a US city other than Washington. "Basically NATO is used to keep the poor poor and the rich rich," said John Schraufnagel, who traveled from Minneapolis to Chicago for the march. Since the end of the Cold War, he said, the alliance has become "the enforcement arm of the ruling 1 percent, of the capitalist 1 percent."