Entries in NATO summit (4)


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


NATO Summit: Hackers Target Websites, Arrests Made

Aaron Katersky/ABC(CHICAGO) -- A hacking group affiliated with Anonymous took responsibility for temporarily crippling the Chicago Police and NATO websites Sunday, proving authorities now have more than just street protests to worry about on the first day of the military alliance's summit.

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

NATO has not confirmed it was the victim of a cyber attack. All three sites now appear to be running as usual.

A lengthy statement from the hacking group, which called itself antis3curityops, was posted on Cyber War News, declaring: "We are in your harbor Chicago, and you will not forget us."

A Twitter user affiliated with Anonymous tweeted "Tango Down" with a link to the Chicago Police Department's website. "Reason: for violation of #humanrights," @Anon_Central wrote.

The attack was orchestrated using DDoS, a method in which numerous systems attack a single target website until it is forced to shut down.

Cole Stryker, author of Epic Win For Anonymous, said Sunday's hacking was likely more embarrassing than harmful to the Chicago Police Department.

"It's an egg on the face type situation," he said. "It's embarrassing when the people who are supposed to keep you safe are so easily victimized by a prankish attack like this, however I don't think it's concerning them."

The internal systems at the city and police department would not have been affected by the attack, Stryker said.

The online disruptions were just the latest incidents in the chaos that has erupted around the two-day NATO summit of world leaders in Chicago.

Three men were arrested on terrorism charges Saturday. They are accused of building Molotov cocktails and planning attacks at President Obama's Chicago campaign headquarters and at the home of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel during the NATO Summit, prosecutors said.

Brian Church, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 24-year-old Vincent Betterly of Oakland Park, Fla., and 24-year-old Jared Chase of Keene, N.H., are charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, providing support for terrorism and possession of an explosive or incendiary device.

"These men were here to hurt people," Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said in a news conference.

The defendants are self-proclaimed members of the "Black Bloc" group.

In addition to materials to make Molotov cocktails, police say the defendants had various weapons, including a mortar gun, swords, a hunting bow, throwing stars, knives and brass knuckles.

"This plot does not represent protest behavior, this is criminal behavior," said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry Mccarthy.

The men argue the materials police collected in an overnight raid Wednesday were used to brew beer.

In a different case, two militia men from Wisconsin were arrested after police found shotguns, shells, extended clips, knives and batons inside their vehicle during a traffic stop. Both men were wearing militia uniforms and were riding in a car that flew a militia flag, police said.

Police said they believe the men were in town to protest NATO.

A Chicago man was also charged with conspiring to build a Molotov cocktail and will appear in court today, the Sun-Times reported.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Three Men Charged with Conspiracy to Commit Terrorism, Held on $1.5 Million Bail

Medioimages/Photodisc/ThinkStock(CHICAGO) -- Three men who were arrested in a Bridgeport, Il. apartment raid days before the NATO summit have been charged with conspiring to commit terrorism, providing material support for terrorism and possession of an explosive or indendiary device, The Chicago Tribune reports.

Prosecutors have accused 20-year-old Brian Church, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 24-year-old Jared Chase, of Keene, N.H. and 24-year-old Brent Vincent Betterly, of Oakland Park, Fla., of plotting to use "indendiary devices" to hit President Obama's headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house and police stations, the paper says.

The National Lawyers Guild is representing the trio, and says that they are mere NATO protesters who had beer-brewing equipment when the apartment they were staying at was raided Wednesday night.

The men were also stopped in a car last week by Chicago Police. A YouTube video, which captured audio of the incident, has led protesters to accuse the officers of harassment.

All three men are being held on $1.5 million bail.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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