Stop Occupying my wedding! Moment furious bride was caught up in anti-NATO protests as Chicago locks down for conferenceAt least 18 arrests made over the weekend in ChicagoPolice in riot gear surround downtown areaReverend Jesse Jackson appeals to protesters for “non-violence”
A couple had some unexpected wedding crashers this weekend when their big day was over run by Occupy protesters.
Thousands were expected to march in downtown Chicago today to the lakeside McCormick Place convention center where President Obama and dozens of other world leaders will meet for the Nato summit.
Newlyweds Tim and Beth Alberts left the church in the city centre on Saturday after exchanging their vows and found themselves in the middle of a mass demonstration.
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Tim and Beth Alberts walk past as Chicago Occupy Wall Street Protesters march through the streets of downtown Chicago, Illinois, May 19, 2012
Newly married couple Tim and Beth Alberts look shocked to be caught-up in protests in downtown Chicago
With her mouth open aghast at the sight of the anti-capitalist activists, a furious Mrs Alberts was caught on video telling the wedding party: “Let”s get out of here.”
Both Chicago residents, Mr Alberts is a law clerk at Brady, Connolly & Masuda and Mrs Alberts is a medical aesthetician at Cellular Intelligence Med Spa.
Hundreds of protestors paid little heed to the newlyweds on their march through the city. The anti-NATO protests were also aimed at Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel”s budget cuts.
There were high tensions and frequent clashes between protesters and police today as violence broke out in pockets around the city.
Mass movement: Demonstrators flow out of Grant Park in Chicago on the opening day of the Nato summit
Gathering: Protesters dance in Grant Park, Chicago today as the Nato summit took place in the city
March on: Protesters returned in earnest today to downtown Chicago to make their demands known to world leaders gathered for the Nato summit
Police in riot gear surrounded the downtown areas of Grant Park and the Loop and also patrolled train stations.
Protesters began arriving at 6.30 am at the park and set up under the trees to shade themselves from the sun.
HACKERS TARGET CHICAGO PD
The hacking group Anonymous said it had attacked the websites of the city of Chicago and police department because of a violation of human rights.
Officials said they were still investigating how the sites went down in a possible cyber attack.
The sites shut down this morning. In one Anonymous tweet, the group claimed to have taken the police site out of commission as the Nato summit began in the city today.
All sites were now back up and running.
Following the rally in the park, protesters planned to march to the convention center at McCormick Place. Around the Nato summit, concrete barriers have been set up along with black, anti-scale fencing. Some businesses and homes in the area have taken the precaution of boarding up their windows.
Chris Geovanis of the Chicago and New Media Collective told the thousands gathered in the park that police had interfere with the march and hurt some protesters, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson also appeared and said the protests must remain non-violent.
He said: “We learned from Dr. King in Birmingham. We march in a disciplined, non-violent way. We cannot afford to have our message hijacked by acts of provocation.”
There have been 18 arrested over the past week – not including the five people arrested on suspicion of two separate terrorist plots to use Molotov cocktails during the summit.
What to do Tim and Beth alberts gather themselves as Occupy Chicago protestors file past their wedding
Happy day: Tim and Beth Alberts who saw their wedding rudely interrupted by activists in downtown Chicago
Beth Alberts pulls off a fun pose for the camera before her wedding on May 19 in downtown Chicago
Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met this morning at the opening of the Nato summit to discuss Afghanistan”s 2014 elections, as well as the prospect of a political settlement with the Taliban.
The crowds were in the hundreds on Saturday, down from an estimated 2,500 people on Friday at Daley Plaza – named after Mayor Richard J. Daley, who headed the city during bloody clashes between police and anti-Vietnam War protesters at the 1968 Democratic convention.
Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said late last night that there had been 18 arrests during the week. One protester was taken to a hospital after a group of people swarmed on a police vehicle and slashed a tire, he added.
Local media showed video of the man in front of the vehicle trying to stop it but it was unclear if he was run over.
Another protester spray-painted an “A” for anarchy on the door of a Verizon Wireless store.
Discussions: Obama meets with Afghan president Hamid Karzai this morning at the Nato summit in Chicago
Saturday”s marches began early, with an estimated 500 people protesting outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel”s home to criticise cuts in city mental health services.
Mr McCarthy said protesters were “making noise and disrupting some people”s lives,” but that overall, events were going well.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle were greeted on their arrival to Chicago last night by Emanuel, his former chief of staff, and his wife Amy Rule on the tarmac at O”Hare International Airport.
Earlier Obama had wound up talks with fellow members of the G8 regarding the eurozone financial crisis and attempts to keep Greece in the Euro.
An Occupy Chicago protestor prepares for the arrival of NATO (left) as another demonstrator faces-off against police (right) with a pack of donuts
The city of Chicago had not granted a permit for Saturday”s protests but police allowed several groups of protesters to wander around the city guided by officers mostly on bicycles.
There was some pushing and shoving between police and protesters but no major clashes.
Saturday”s protests followed the announcement that three men arrested earlier in the week had been charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism.
Prosecutors said the three self-described anarchists were planning to attack President Barack Obama”s Chicago campaign headquarters and Emanuel”s home.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle arrive at Chicago O”Hare International Airport to attend the NATO summit
Saturday”s protests stressed economic and social policy issues rather than international questions, such as the war in Afghanistan, expected to be discussed by world leaders at the NATO summit on Sunday and Monday.
Three protest leaders said they met with Nato Ambassador Kolinda Grabar of the military alliance”s public diplomacy unit
“My message to Ambassador Grabar was that we are very aware of the immense violence and oppression that the U.S. in its Nato guise does to the world, and that no amount of words from her or pronouncements from the summit itself will obscure that,” said Andy Thayer, one of the protest leaders
Many of the protesters were from the Occupy Wall Street movement that began in New York last autumn to protest policies that lead to income inequality. The group says 1 per cent of the U.S. population holds too much of the nation”s wealth.
A protester trips after falling over a police officer during a demonstration by Occupy Chicago and other groups in downtown Chicago on the eve of the NATO summit on May 19, 2012
A protestor wears a “V” for Vendetta mask in Chicago on May 19 (left) as a law enforcement official wears a helmet (right)