Huffpost Chicago

NATO Protest Permit Shot Down Again In Court

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A Chicago judge echoed Mayor Rahm Emanuel's concerns about allowing protesters to march through the city during the upcoming NATO Summit and struck down activists' attempt to appeal the rejection of their permit application.

Activists were originally granted a permit to march past Daley Plaza during the G-8 Summit, one of two international assemblies Chicago was slated to host this summer. When the G-8 Summit was relocated, the group requested the permit be moved from Saturday, May 19 to Sunday, May 20 to coincide with the NATO summit, and the Chicago Transportation Department said no.

"Saturday, eight heads of state would have been fine; Sunday with 50 plus is not," city law department spokesman Roderick Drew told the Associated Press, citing traffic issues and heightened security required for the much larger NATO Summit.

On Tuesday, activists appealed the ruling after threatening to sue the city for restricting their right to free assembly. Chicago administrative Judge Raymond J. Prosser rejected their appeal, according to NBC Chicago.

The city has pointed to limited peacekeeping resources as an explanation for their rejection of requests for marches and rallies, despite the news this week that on top of a $19 million federal grant to cover security costs, Emanuel's NATO host committee has raised an additional $36.5 million from corporate donors, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Protesters have said they will assemble before the audience of international leaders with or without the city's permission.

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