Activists preparing to protest the NATO summit in Chicago next month leaked what they claim is the Secret Service's security perimeter for the event on Tuesday.
Andy Thayer, spokesman for the Coalition Against NATO/G8 protest group, said, according to NBC Chicago, that the Secret Service told activists that their security boundaries around McCormick Place would extend west from Lake Michigan to the Dan Ryan Expressway. The northern boundary, Thayer claimed, is fluid, varying between 21st Street and West Roosevelt depending on summit activities and the southern boundary is I-55.
Secret Service told ABC Chicago that they met Tuesday with protest groups, but would not confirm whether the security perimeter protesters detailed was accurate or disclose any additional details.
Because of the security perimeter, protesters' May 20 protest march, beginning at Grant Park's Petrillo Music Shell, is now slated to end at the intersection of Cermak Road and Michigan Avenue, a block west of where initially outlined in the route the city and protesters agreed to, CBS Chicago reports. That plan was, of course, contingent upon Secret Service's plan.
Protesters are not pleased that their demonstration will no longer be within sight and sound of the summit site.
"We'll be blocks away," Thayer told Reuters.
Protesters last week threatened to take legal action unless Secret Service disclosed their security perimeter plans for the summit. Activists were originally granted a permit to march past Daley Plaza during the G8 Summit, one of two international assemblies Chicago was originally slated to host this spring. When the G8 Summit was relocated, the group requested the permit be moved from May 19 to May 20 to coincide with the NATO summit, and the Chicago Transportation Department initially turned them down.
Meanwhile, security officials on Tuesday met with concerned residents and business owners at a University of Illinois Chicago Pavilion meeting.
Former Police Supt. Terry Hillard, co-founder of the private security firm Hillard Heintze, told area business owners that they will be "well protected" during the international confab, according to CBS.
"Are there going to be a few knuckleheads? Yes there will be. But ... Deb Kirby and the Chicago Police Department have made contingency plans for that," Hillard said, as reported by CBS.
About 10,000 people -- including some 2,000 journalists -- are expected to attend the summit, not including protesters, the Chicago Tribune reports.