As the city of Chicago prepares for the Group of 8 and North Atlantic Treaty Organization meetings to be held in the city simultaneously May 19 to 21, suburban communities like Naperville are also planning and preparing.
More than 7,000 world leaders and more than 2,000 journalists are expected to be in attendance when the G8 and NATO meetings are held in Chicago in May.
For weeks, there have been concerns raised that the meetings could be a flashpoint for protesters. Last week, Adbusters called for 50,000 people to descend upon the city.
In the Jan. 25 posting on the Adbusters blog, Tactical Briefing #25 said: “And if they don’t listen … if they ignore us and put our demands on the back burner like they’ve done so many times before … then, with Gandhian ferocity, we’ll flashmob the streets, shut down stock exchanges, campuses, corporate headquarters and cities across the globe … we’ll make the price of doing business as usual too much to bear.”
Recent news stories have stated that downtown businesses and companies are being asked to increase security in an attempt to prevent the kind of protests that took place in 1999 in Seattle when the World Trade Organization met there. Other groups said they plan to close during the event to ensure employees’ safety.
In a recent interview, Naperville Police Chief David Dial said it is possible there will be protesters in the suburbs and suburban law enforcement agencies are preparing.
Because DuPage County in many respects represents the 1 percenters, he said, the area may be ripe for protests.
Dial said there have been protests in Naperville in the past, including the Reclaim the Streets protests, which were held in Naperville in September 2000 and July 2001. The Reclaim the Streets protesters shared the ideal of community ownership of public places.
With the upcoming G8 and NATO meetings, Dial said there might be some work for suburban law enforcement agencies and that they are preparing.
Since Sept. 11, law enforcement agencies have come a long way with how they communicate and the shares information with 200 agencies every day, Dial said.
“We didn’t need Sept. 11 to be prepared for NATO/G8,” Dial said. “They have some history at these summits of protests and some violence.”