Entries in NATO (4)


NATO Protesters Crash Chicago Couple’s Wedding Shoot

ABC News(CHICAGO) -- Every bride likes to be the center of attention and draw a crowd on her big day, but even the most attention-craving bride can say enough is enough when the crowd is a frenzy of anti-NATO and anti-war protesters.

Such was the case for Chicago bride Beth Alberts, who had the unfortunate luck of having her once-in-a-lifetime event happen on the same day as the headline-grabbing NATO Summit that drew not just world leaders to the Windy City but thousands of protestors as well.

When Alberts and her new husband, Tim, walked out of the church Saturday and onto the city’s streets for a photo shoot, the couple found themselves in the middle of a mob and saw their would-be wedding shots photo-bombed by anonymous protesters walking through the city’s famous Daley Plaza.

Reacting to the scene, Beth Alberts can be heard saying, “Let’s get out of here” in video of the encounter posted by the Chicago Sun-Times.

The protests, which drew an estimated 2,000 people, were organized by the Occupy Chicago branch of the larger Occupy Wall Street movement to coincide with the NATO summit.

While the blue of police helmets was not likely what the bride had envisioned in the “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” wedding good luck, the Alberts were able to snap a few shots of themselves and their bridal party in the streets after a few trials, minus the mob.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NATO Summit: Anarchists Clash with Cops, Vets Return Medals

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Protesters clad in black clashed with police on Sunday at the end of what had been a peaceful march and rally by thousands of demonstrators, led by disenchanted veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars protesting the opening of the two-day NATO summit in Chicago.

The demonstration was the largest the city has seen in years.

The battle between protesters believed to be members of the anarchist group Black Bloc and police left several demonstrators bloodied, and marred what had been a solemn and orderly march.

At the end of the march, the vets threw their NATO medals over the fence set up by the Secret Service around McCormick Place.

Some of the veterans told ABC News affiliate WLS-TV in Chicago that they had hoped a NATO representative would meet the group and take the medals back as a symbol of recognition.

Former Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis criticized the black-clad demonstrators who clashed with police for undermining the emotional power of the veterans' act.

"You have classic Black Bloc ideology, peaceful ceremony, moving ceremony and these individuals use this as an occasion to disrupt, engage the police, engage in criminal activity," Weis told WLS-TV.  "Once they crossed that behind and are throwing bribes at the police officers and hitting them with sticks and weapons, then they have no option but to maintain control.  It is classic Black Bloc ideology.  It ruins ceremonies and ruins a ceremony of veterans turning in their valor medals."

The demonstrators had a wide range of agendas; there were anti-war activists, people concerned about inaction on climate change, and people protesting the handling of the global economy.

But the activists on the street weren't the only ones aiming to disrupt the summit.  A hacking group affiliated with Anonymous took responsibility for temporarily crippling the Chicago Police and NATO websites earlier on Sunday.

Chicago police are working with federal authorities to investigate the attack and the extent of it, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


First Lady to NATO Spouses in Chicago: ‘Feels Good to Be Home’

Alex Wong/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- As NATO leaders launched two days of summit talks, first lady Michelle Obama hosted their spouses at a youth center in the neighborhood where she grew up, saying, “It really feels good to be home.”

“I brought them here because I am so proud of where I grew up, and I wanted to show everyone some of the wonderful things that are happening here on the South Side,” the first lady told the audience at the Gary Comer Youth Center on Chicago’s South Side.

The first lady encouraged the students to work hard and aim high.

“I grew up just like you.  Same background.  My family didn’t have a lot of money growing up.  Neither of my parents had the opportunity to go to college, and most of the folks in my neighborhood didn’t get a chance to go, either,” she said.  “But I decided to just focus, to push the haters out, to kick the doubters out of my head.  And instead, what I did was I worked really hard.  I focused all my energy on working hard.

“What I want you all to know is that with every acceptance letter I received, I realized that it didn’t matter where I was from, didn’t matter how much money my family had,” she said.

The first lady and her guests, who hailed from such far-away places as Croatia, Turkey and France, toured the center’s rooftop vegetable garden and watched the children show off their culinary skills.  The students demonstrated how to prepare their original strawberry basil vinaigrette dressing.

The first ladies sampled the dressing and agreed that it was delicious, according to the pool report.

The students also showed off their moves, performing a hip hop aerobics routine to a Michael Jackson tune.  The group also took in a performance by the South Side’s Muntu Dance Theater, which did a traditional African dance accompanied by drums.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Senators Levin and Corker Support Gates' Critique of NATO

US Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Senators on the Hill Friday echoed Secretary of Defense Robert Gates blunt farewell remarks to the NATO alliance where he criticized some in the alliance who have not devoted "necessary resources" to the campaign in Libya.

"There are some countries in NATO that haven't come through with commitments," Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., said Friday, agreeing with Gates' comments when asked. "And those countries need to have the pressure put on them and to be reminded of those commitments and what NATO is all about.  I am glad Secretary Gates did that."

Levin made his comments after leaving a closed-door briefing for the Armed Services Committee -- of which only one other senator showed up for the meeting Friday on Libya.

"The key here is what Secretary Gates said which is that this be sustained," Levin added. "That this momentum continues and that's going to require NATO countries including those have not participated the way they said they would to come through with greater participation."

Levin said he would not single out any countries specifically, but said there are some countries that have "not come though as committed."

Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that he also agrees with the Defense Secretary's remarks.

"I commend Secretary Gates for stating the view shared by many Americans: our NATO allies are not carrying their weight, forcing American service members and taxpayers to bear nearly all of the burden in NATO-led missions," Corker says. "This current arrangement where only five of the 28 nations pay their full commitment to support the alliance cannot continue."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio