PHOTOS: At least 45 arrests, some injuries in Chicago anti-NATO clashes

Protesters and police clashed this weekend.

Four police officers were injured and 45 demonstrators arrested after baton-wielding police clashed with anti-war protesters marching on the NATO summit in Chicago on Sunday, police said.

A lawyer’s group assisting protesters challenged police figures, saying at least 12 protesters were hurt, some with head wounds from police batons, and more than 60 people detained.

The confrontation began after a 2 1/2 mile march from a Chicago park to near the site of the summit, where leaders of the NATO alliance are discussing the war in Afghanistan.

Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy defended police tactics.

“I know that picture (of officers in riot gear pushing and hitting protesters) is going to be what people are going to run away here with,” McCarthy told reporters. “But cops are not here to be assaulted.”

Most of the officers sustained minor injuries, but one was stabbed in the leg, McCarthy said.

While the melee at the end of the rally received the most attention, the situation had calmed down by dark.

The size of the protests over the last week fell short of expectations. Police estimated about 3,000 people attended on Sunday, although many participants thought the crowd was larger. Organizers did not get the 10,000 people they had hoped for, or the 40,000 the anti-Wall Street Occupy movement boasted it would attract.

On Sunday afternoon, police ordered the protesters to disperse or risk arrest. Most of the demonstrators did, but several hundred ignored the order and police moved in.

Hundreds of demonstrators, reporters and photographers were hemmed in by lines of blue-helmeted police, pushing them back with plastic shields.

One young man sat at the side of the street, the back of his head streaming blood. His friends said he was hit by riot police.

“This is what police brutality looks like,” said Ryan Zielinski, 23, a protester who said he was hit in the chest with a baton as police pushed protesters back. “All we’re trying to do is protest and the police are attacking us.”

McCarthy said officers had endured numerous profane taunts and showed restraint. But he said police would not tolerate assaults by black-clad anarchists.

“What we saw is these guys rally their courage and say, ‘OK, let’s go. That’s what we came here for.’ And I have to say to myself, what are you thinking?” McCarthy said.

The march included people in festive costumes, a few parents pushing strollers and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Demonstrators had little chance of being seen by the world leaders and representatives from 60 countries at the meeting of the military alliance. The summit site, the McCormick Place convention center, is inside a security zone guarded by high fences. Protesters were kept blocks away.

President Barack Obama, who is hosting the summit in his hometown, convened the summit to chart a path out of the unpopular war in Afghanistan.

The Coalition Against NATO-G8, the group organizing Sunday’s march, wants an immediate end to the U.S. role in the Afghan war. Other protesters decried U.S. defense spending and economic inequality.

Matt Howard, a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq, was one of nearly 50 veterans who threw service medals into the street near the summit site in protest.

Vietnam War veteran Ron McSheffery, 61, said, “I’m in total support of stopping NATO and stopping the slaughter of innocent civilians. If we took the money we spent on bombs and put it into green energy, we wouldn’t need to keep the sea lanes open” for oil transport.

Before the summit began, five men were arrested on terrorism-related or bomb-making charges. Three of those charged were plotting to attack Obama’s campaign headquarters, police stations and other targets, according to court documents. Defense lawyers said the three were entrapped by police informants.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

'Five Star': A coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang…

'Five Star' tells a coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang culture at the Tribeca Film Festival.

National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.

Local

Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…

Music

Championship of Collegiate a Cappella: Students who are…

Tickets to this Saturday’s International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella reportedly sold out within 11 hours of going on sale.

Music

M.I.A. talks 'Matangi,' divinity, spontaneity and holograms

"There’s pressure for me to become a theatrical production like 'Glee,' or something" says M.I.A., "It’s like, 'the pressure’s on, bitches.'"

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

NHL

Rangers unlikely to change lineup, Steve Mason in…

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn't say much, but don't expect any lineup changes.

NBA

Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.

NBA

Nets excited for Brooklyn fans to bring the…

Kevin Garnett has definitely used profanity while trash talking or in practices, but never to describe an entire borough.

NHL

Rangers turn up shot blocking in Game 3…

Game 3 of the Rangers-Flyers opneing round series was not a return to John Tortorella hockey.

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.