Chicago protests on eve of NATO summit raucous, peaceful

May 20, 2012 07:56

CHICAGO - Hundreds of demonstrators staged raucous protests against Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's budget cuts and other economic issues on the eve of the NATO summit, but police said there were few arrests and only minor clashes.

The crowds were in the hundreds on Saturday, down from an estimated 2,500 people on Friday at Daley Plaza, named for longtime Mayor Richard J. Daley, who headed the city during bloody clashes between police and anti-Vietnam War protesters at the 1968 Democratic convention.

The violence that was anticipated before the NATO summit never materialized, although the biggest rally was expected on Sunday. Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said late on Saturday 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, McCarthy said. 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.

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