The city I love and have lived in/near my whole life has shit itself with fear. Stupid, baseless fear.
Everywhere I turn I see hysterics. In the media. On the street. Metra, impressed by TSA, maybe, has banned people from bringing food, drink, and backpacks on the trains. My own company has plans A, B, and C to choose from, indicating various degrees of terror. The pretty plaza downstairs has been fenced off, with signs reminding all and sundry who the Owner [sic] is and that the Property is Private.
Here’s the thing: earlier this year, when it was planned to have the G8 and NATO summits here, the concern was probably legitimate. Previous G8 summits have brought tremendous (and pointless, though that’s another thing) violence and destruction. It was not unreasonable to expect the same here. But, shrewdly, President Obama moved the G8 summit to Camp David, which is in the middle of nowhere. This tactic has proven successful in defusing violence at previous summits.
What we’re left with is NATO. And there will surely be protests. But the difference is key: these are mostly antiwar protestors, not angry anarchists. I know someone involved; these are not brickthrowers. Would it make sense for an antiwar protestor to be anything but peaceful? I mean, these people are organizing educational seminars of their own on universal healthcare.
There could be some hangers on, other knuckleheads, whatever. No doubt. But the level of overreaction I am seeing here is the most embarrassing thing I’ve seen in 45 years as a Chicagoan. Be vigilant, sure, but be smart. We are bigger, braver, and better than this.
Broad Slumped Shoulders.