In truth, we had probably overstated the left-of-center population in St. Joseph, Michigan. Call it wishful thinking.
“It’s our chance to remind the people that the United States of America needs to end its illicit colonial wars in Latin America,” Steve proclaimed. He was the most radical among us by virtue of the fact that for weeks he'd been driving around with a hand-scrawled sign in his car that said “U.S.—hands off Nicaragua!” None of our classmates knew what the hell he was talking about, but they were pretty sure it was some commie crap.
“Yeah,” said Jake, who had recently begun making his own statement of cultural defiance by wearing around red Daffy Duck children's sunglasses. “Plus, Ollie North is a dickhead.”
That’s how much federal aid Chicago officials have procured so far to cover the costs of preparation and security for the NATO and G8 summits.
Chicago officials continue to promise local taxpayers that the federal government will pick up the tab for security at the May summits, as Ben Joravsky and I wrote last week. They’ve even suggested that millions of dollars in assistance are already on the way, thanks in large part to our mayor’s close ties with the Obama administration. “No one knows his way around Washington like Mayor Emanuel,” a top summit organizer told reporters in a background briefing last month, on the condition that her name not be used so that she could speak “freely.”
So far, though, the federal government hasn’t provided any funds for the NATO and G8 meetings, though the city is already spending taxpayer dollars on security training and equipment.
Just a couple months after I moved to Santiago in 2004, the city hosted the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, triggering several days of demonstrations—against APEC, but especially against the recently reelected George W. Bush, who was attending. If you think he was unpopular here, you should have heard what they thought of him in Chile. The official slogan of the march was "Fuera Bush, Chile no es una mercancia," which loosely translates to "Get out, Bush; Chile isn't a piece of merchandise."
Protest Week coincides with this week's cover story, a primer to the forthcoming NATO/G8 summit by Mick Dumke and Ben Joravsky. The two reporters examine many aspects of the event, but deal extensively with its anticipated protests. Moreover, they cover the lawsuits that came about as a result of the Iraq War protests in 2003. Though it's these two facets that gave us the idea for our theme, the article investigates many layers of the summit, and is a must read.
And in case you missed it, here's "Regrets Week," last week's "Variations on a Theme."