Chicago, IL – May 20, 2012 Police beat protesters for nearly an hour before giving the order to disperse. Nowhere for protester to go to escape the police kettle.
"This was not a clash between protesters and police. It was a clash between criminals and police, said CPD Superintendent McCarthy, "The news isn't what happened. The news is what did not happen."
At exactly 4 p.m. to the ominous sound of thunder beating drums of war militarized police, without prior warning from authorities began marching toward a crowd of journalist and protesters.
“It was almost like they were saying we let you protest here now get f@#* out, you should be thankful we didn’t crush you from the start,” said Jacob Deyo, 31 an Environmental Engineering Student, “the police were extremely aggressive toward a group that showed no intention of being aggressive.”
"My analysis is there was ... free speech, and in response to that there was appropriate law enforcement. There may have been some things at the margins," said Harvey Grossman, head of the American Civil Liberties Union in Chicago.
The now unduly infamous black bloc protesters who had taken the lead of the demonstration linked arms to form a barrier between the rest of the protesters and the police, some sat down in protest. When the police got within feet of the defensive line black bloc had formed the front line of police brought their bully clubs over their heads and rained them down on the defenseless mass of people.
Knocking down and bloodying protesters and journalist alike in droves. The assault continued for nearly an hour as everyone on the receiving end screamed for mercy and yelled that there was nowhere for them to go.
Police even attacked clearly Identified medics as they were treating wounded or dragging them out of harm’s way injuring one so badly that he needed medical assistance himself, having to have his arm put in a sling.
Many tripped and even trample others in their way just to try and escape the rain of assaulting fists and clubs.
Police even ripped Press ID’s from around some journalists’ necks so that they could later say they didn’t know they were members of the press when arresting them or incase law suites where brought by journalists who were caught in the police free for all.
All of this despite what had been a very peaceful and orderly march to that point without the slightest hind protesters would become violent.
“I saw a lot of good energy from the groups hundreds of groups working together, people were friendly, polite and enthusiastic,” said Richard Yankiak, 29 a communications student from Rochester, NY, “Even being surrounded by thousands upon thousands of people I felt safe until the police brought their heavy handed Tactics of oppression down against us.”
After the violence had subsided and one of the cities LRAD units where brought in to be used to give the actual order to disperse the arrests began in earnest including a 78 year old grandmother lovingly called Radical Nan from Oregon who had led many of the marches of the course of the past week.
In total there were 91 arrests not including the NATO arrested on state terrorism charges over the course of a four day period related to the summit. There were 8 felony arrests, 80 misdemeanors, and 3 city ordinance charges filed.
"If Seattle in 1999 was lesson of what not to do, I think Chicago will be a lesson of what to do,” said Rahm Emanuel.
“The police lived up to their threats of going ’68 on protesters, more than a few people will remember the police exerting their assumed right to beat people in the heads with billy clubs, said Marco Saldivar, 20 an entrepreneur from Wheeling, Illinois.