Police vs Protester: Feds sending armed agents to Chicago three weeks before NATO Summit
May’s NATO summit in Chicago is still weeks away, but residents of the Windy City can expect to see armed federal agents patrolling the streets in preparation much sooner than that.
Three weeks before international heads of state will converge in Chicago, Illinois for the annual NATO conference, the US Federal Protective Service will send armed officers into the city’s downtown district to prepare for the swarm of protesters expected to arrive in time for the event, slated for May 20 and 21.
Both the NATO and G-8 summits were initially scheduled to occur back-to-back in the major Midwest city, but the meeting between the world’s eight leading economies has since been relocated to Camp David, the fortified presidential retreat in Maryland used as a getaway destination for many of America’s past commanders-in-chief.
As of now, however, the NATO summit will take place in Chicago and, citing concerns over how demonstrators may respond, law enforcement is being called in early to size up the city.
Beginning May 1, the Federal Protective Service agents will be in Chicago for “Operation Red Zone.” Although the officers will not necessarily be restricting residents from accessing any public spaces that they are normally permitted to enter, the agents will be patrolling — in complete battle gear.