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G8 Move Doesn't Reduce Chicago Protests

Last night, protest organizers for Chicago G8 were celebrating their perceived victory of the move of the G8 to Camp David. However, despite what seems to be a common perception, the move will not affect the protests in Chicago. This reflects the experience of Canada that hosted G8 in Huntsville and G20 in Toronto – the protests were all still held in Toronto.

There are a number of serious issues facing Chicago Police. The first is that the tactics and command classes taught by FEMA simply don’t facilitate Constitutional Rights nor ensure successful convictions of those with violent and criminal intent like they should. Police officers in Chicago are right to be concerned at their lack of preparation. Like every other police department since Seattle to host a National Significant Security Event, the Chicago PD and Mayor will continue to reassure everyone that “it can’t happen here,” before they make exactly the same mistakes.

The second is that there is a more significant debate than normal by the anarchists about whether to attend Chicago; this is where Chicago may indeed get lucky. For reasons of their own, the anarchist community is fiercely debating whether to boycott the NATO/G8 Conference protests. This may be Chicago’s saving grace (rather than the change of the G8 location).

Sam Rosenfeld blogs on protestor management, security sector reform, and the intersection of security and financial issues. Chairman of The Densus Group, Rosenfeld is a former British Army infantry officer who served for eleven years in many of the world’s more contentious environments. He holds an MBA from Wharton Business School, a MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management, and a BA(Hons) in International Relations and Strategic Studies. Read More