Chicago – May 19, 2012 Occupy Chicago and other Occupiers held an Anti-capitalist March today. It started at 6:30 pm. Protesters met at a statue commemorating the international labor movement in Haymarket Square at Randolph and Desplaines on the Near West Side.
Thousands of police, state and federal authorities met protesters at the intersection of State and Washington and several other intersections as protesters made their way down State.
“State and Washington was nothing but blood and Billy clubs,” said a scared and tired protester after she broke away from the onslaught.
The authorities attempted to kettle protesters, a tactic for controlling large crowds during demonstrations or protests. The controversial tactic is very simple. Police form a cordon of officers who then move to surround the protesters within a very limited area.
Normally protesters would be offered the choice of leaving peacefully; however, this time that was not the case. Police began beating protesters in the head with wooden and black metal batons.
Protesters broke free and made their ways to meet another protest that had started earlier in the day as a Court Solidarity march for the Occupiers who were arrested in the execution of an unwarranted search of a private home in Bridgeport earlier in the week.
Several Occupiers were arrested on terrorism charges in retaliation for a video that was posted online in which police threatened to assault protesters in the same manner and spirit of the 1968 police riots at the Democratic National Convention held in Chicago.
The Occupiers home that was raided was one of those threatened by police, as were several of those who were arrested in the raid.
The police claimed that a homemade beer stein was in fact bomb making material. They also claimed that they had a month-long investigation into the people who were arrested. They claimed the beer stein contained the ingredients to make Molotov cocktails.
Three different protests met despite the police department’s best efforts to stop the marches with all means at their disposal, without causing an inconvenience to possible bystanders.
Police continued to escalate the violence as the night dragged on and more protesters joined the march.
Protesters held a sit-in at the trade center in downtown Chicago, when the police began to surround the group they got up to meet the police and broke the police lines.
“The people showed that they had the ability to push through the police when they were surrounded,” said an occupier from San Francisco.
A police van ran down a group of demonstrators, running over at least one protester.
It was reported that the protesters leg was badly injured.
The battle between the police continued even as protester slowly broke off from the marches tired and in need of rest for the coming encounters with the police over the next two days.
“The general consensus of the protesters is one of non-violence, but there may be some who wish to resist the police’s violent oppression of the democratic process,” said Krissana Limmami, 30 from Occupy San Francisco.
Police have already called for the use of chemical weapons against protesters in the coming days.
Protesters continue to march through the streets of downtown Chicago.
Solidarity Marches have popped up in various cities across the country.
Police began raiding the private homes of people housing Occupiers intending to round-up protesters through the perhaps preventing the numbers seen tonight.
Cory Clark is covering the NATO Summit for Occupy Philly Media and Raging Chicken Press