Out of the Loop - Priceless
The head of Chicago’s NATO Host Committee said Thursday she was blindsided by the federal government’s decision to create a militarized “Red Zone” in the Loop to protect federal buildings in the run-up to the May 20-21 summit at McCormick Place.
The image of federal agents on downtown streets far from McCormick Place — in battle gear, weapons slung — three weeks before the summit is certain to have a chilling effect on those who live and work in the Loop. It also calls into question Host Committee Executive Director Lori Healey’s oft-repeated message that Chicago will remain “open for business” during the summit.
On Thursday, Healey found herself in the difficult position of having to convince the public that a scary headline that blindsided even her is not an indication that the feds are bracing for weeks of trouble.
Don't worry Lori, we knew you were an incompetent political hack from the word "go" anyway. We couldn't possibly think of you in any lower terms than we already do. Remember the No-lympic bid? We thought that was your finest hour. This might prove to be better though.
And this was absolutely great:
Andy Thayer, a spokesman for the Coalition Against NATO-G-8, accused the federal government of creating the Red Zone to send a “message of intimidation” to protesters expected to descend on Chicago for the summit.
“It’s reminiscent of what happened prior to the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue, when the city got all Rambo-ed up as a way of scaring people from exercising their First Amendment rights,” Thayer said.
“If security measures are necessary, there are ways to go about it rather than getting hyper-militarized in a very visible way. It does nothing to stop any violence, but it does send a message of intimidation. This is a political show. It’s not about security.”