The Catholic Worker-organized demonstration was meant to protest NATO in advance of this weekend’s summit in Chicago. This was meant to be the first event in the “Week Without Capitalism.”
The demonstration began with about 100 demonstrators picketing at Prudential Plaza, passing out rolls to commuters in what they called a symbolic invitation to break bread with world leaders expected here this weekend for the NATO summit.
The group, organized by the Catholic Worker movement, then tried to enter the building around 8:30 a.m. as guards locked the revolving doors. But some protesters were able to get into the lobby through side doors, some pushing back a guard as they rode up escalators.
About a dozen uniformed Chicago police officers entered the lobby and stood quietly at the back of the protest group as a demonstrator on the second floor read a statement, echoed by the few dozen demonstrators in the lobby below.
After the statement was read, most of the protesters filed out past the police, with one shaking hands with the building manager and a police lieutenant.
“Welcome to NATO,” the lieutenant said to the manager. “Let’s go see about (the people) on your balcony.”
A handful of protesters refused to leave the lobby and were handcuffed and placed into a squadrol.
Their fellow protesters sang “Ain’t Going to Study War No More” and cheered and thanked those who were arrested.
A line of police stood calmly behind their bicycles as the protesters sang and clapped. As the squadrol pulled away, the protesters broke out into dance and began singing the gospel song, “This Little Light of Mine.”
The protesters regrouped for a moment of silence outside 130 East Randolph in support of those arrested. Then one demonstrator began strumming an acoustic guitar and the group started singing “Let There Be Peace On Earth” as they marched down Randolph toward the CTA Blue Line.
Police said the eight arrested would likely be charged with criminal trespassing.
Oh, and lest anyone forget what the Occupy movement is really about …