“We want to make sure the content is neutral,” Zoufal said, “However, I think the bigger issue is there are a lot of violate individuals cause damage, they are engaged their wild demonstration, go out, damage the property. Their purpose is to draw police overreaction. Anarchist group believe government is too powerful, and they want to make the government, push the government, it’s their strategy, they purpose to distract the city and even cause property damage.”
“A large demonstration in the most attribute crowded streets of the Loop, there have more an unacceptable public safety risk,” Zoufal said. And that day, about 50 foreign delegations and up to 170 motorcades will be moving through downtown and causing more traffic congestion.
“The city’s going to be concerned about with the respect to these crowds who except together,” Zoufal said, “city has the responsibility for public safety. Broader than police service.”
“People come here show differences minds, so we have this think of First Amendment right of protest, rights of speech,” said Don Zoufal, expert in homeland security, who was the first Deputy at City of Chicago, Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
The protesters want to hold the march May 20. Organizers of the protest and city transportation department had a long-lasting confrontation about the route of the protest.
At first, protesters preferred to start march in Daley Plaza in the Loop.But the city had denied the permit starting at Daley Plaza.
Protesters accepted a compromise on April 4 for a parade route that city officials offered. The parade, scheduled for May 19, starts at the Music Shell, heads west on Jackson Bwd. to State Street, south to Harrison Street, east to Michigan Avenue and southward to McCormick Place.
According Zonfal said, The First Amendment gives people the freedom of speech, write, say and publish, in this most important meeting as NATO summit, taking into account security issues and related matters of the protest as route, protester number, time, size, and should require government approval, otherwise the protest is illegal.
While the Occupy Chicago protests last fall did not a major violent incident, larger-scale protests at world summits have occasionally resulted in violence. Such as Chicago has a received a $19 million grant to cover the local security costs of the NATO summit.
Protesters use smartphones, video cameras and social media sites where they’ll share images of what’s happening at the NATO summit. Then they can wits with the police, how to protect themselves in case of violence. They should search for a balance between security and freedom of speech.
“Anonymous is an organization that we not quite sure who they are,” Zoufal said, “they use the internet for social justice purposes. Publishing information. They promised to be here, to be involved. They were very active in supporting the protest.”
In Zoufal’s opinion, Chicago police will face great challenges. But the summit also can be great exposure for the city. “Real money and real jobs, it can have some beneficial for Chicago,” he said, “that should impact people. So global issues have local impact.”