Activists planning demonstrations during the NATO summit next month say the U.S. Secret Service plans to close I-55 and Lake Shore Drive during the event, forcing them to gather out far from the meetings at McCormick Place.
The security plan calls for the banning vehicle traffic in an area bounded by the lake, South Indiana Avenue, 21st Street and 25th Street, protesters tell the Sun-Times. That would include I-55 and Lake Shore Drive.
Activists planning to protest during the NATO summit say they will file a lawsuit if the federal government doesn't release its plans for a security barrier around McCormick Place by Monday night.
Protest groups say they fear the government will bar demonstrations near McCormick Place, and that officials are stalling in releasing their plans.
The Secret Service has an extensive shopping list to fortify the Chicago NATO summit, from barriers to withstand a vehicle going 50 mph to 8-foot-high fences that can't be climbed. The specifics are contained in a bid request from the Secret Service, a document called “sensitive but unclassified.”
The city on Wednesday approved a permit allowing protesters to march on the outskirts of the Loop to McCormick Place where international leaders will gather for the NATO summit next month.
- Chicago Approves NATO Protest Route [Fox Chicago]
- Anti-war protesters and city agree on NATO march route [Chicago Tribune]
- City, NATO Protesters Reach Deal On Protest March Route [CBS Chicago]
The U.S. Secret Service is considering shutting down rail lines that run beneath McCormick Place during the May 20-21 NATO summit to protect world leaders meeting there, potentially inconveniencing thousands of commuters, transit officials said Wednesday.