CHICAGO — Hundreds of protesters broke away from a large rally and began marching through Chicago streets Friday, taunting police and shouting about everything from bank bailouts to nuclear power – a prelude to even bigger demonstrations expected after the start of a NATO summit.

Police said there was one arrest for aggravated battery of a police officer. Officers were also seen trying to arrest a man who scaled a bridge tower and pulled down part of a NATO banner. Earlier, police handcuffed a man at the end of a noisy but largely peaceful rally organized by the nation's largest nurses union.

Members of National Nurses United were joined by members of the Occupy movement, unions and veterans at the rally, where they demanded a "Robin Hood" tax on banks' financial transactions. The event drew several thousand people and featured a performance by former Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, an activist who has played at many Occupy events.

Deb Holmes, a nurse at a hospital in Worcester, Mass., said she was advocating for the tax but also protesting proposals to cut back nurses' pensions.

"We've worked 30 years for them and don't want to get rid of them," she said.

The rally _originally scheduled to coincide with the start of the G-8 economic summit before that meeting was moved from Chicago to Camp David – drew a broad spectrum of causes, from anti-war activists to Occupy protesters and Cathy Christeller's nonprofit Chicago Women's AIDS project.

Christeller, the agency's executive director, said there is common ground among all protesters, even against the backdrop of the NATO summit.

"The whole ... idea we should slash the (social) safety net instituted here and in Europe – it's a disaster," she said. "It ignores the source of the economic downturn, and it's making people suffer unnecessarily. This brings us together."

After the rally, a group planned to protest environmental damage by marching to BP, Exelon Energy and the Canadian consulate to deliver a "cease-and-desist" letter. But those plans were scrapped when a much larger group of protesters started marching and chanting spontaneously, said Craig Rouskey, an activist with Occupy San Francisco and Rising Tide, an environmental group.

He said he abandoned the march because it "got hijacked" by protesters who lacked a clear message

"It became less about environmentalism and more about taking the streets," he said. "That is important, but I just like a more succinct message."

Police on foot, bicycle and horseback followed the marchers, who tried to evade police as they wound through city streets, at one point even weaving between stopped cars.

The march began to break up after about 90 minutes.

Jennifer Lacey, a freelance videographer and editor from Chicago who took pictures of the spectacle with her cell phone, gave police high marks for their tolerance.

"I think the police are handling themselves very well," she said. "It seems like they have it all organized, and it doesn't seem their tempers are going to be easily flared. I think they're mindful we're going to be on the world stage."

But Ben Meyer, a Chicago lawyer who was observing the protest for the National Lawyers' Guild, denounced what he called an excessive police presence at the rally, which included dozens of officers milling through the crowd and lining the perimeter, some of whom were videotaping the rally.

"It's frustrating the state needs to come out and show this much force for a nurses' rally," he said. "They have everyone from the superintendent on down here. It's just ridiculous."

Meanwhile, lawyers for NATO summit protesters said police on Friday released four of nine activists arrested Wednesday on accusations that they had or planned to make Molotov cocktails.

The lawyers said police, with their guns drawn, raided a South Side apartment building where activists were staying. The Chicago Police Department refused to comment.

One of those protesters, Occupy activist Darrin Annussek of Philadelphia, denied there were Molotov cocktails in the apartment or that raw materials had been compiled to make them.

"No way," said Annussek, who was released without being charged. "If I had seen anything that even resembled (a Molotov cocktail), I would have left."

He claims that during 18 hours in custody, police never told him why he was arrested, read him his rights or allowed him to make a phone call. He said he remained handcuffed to a bench, even after asking to use a restroom.

"There were guards walking by making statements into the door along the lines of `hippie,' `communist,' `pinko,'" a tired-looking Annussek told reporters just after his release.

"It is all part of a fear and intimidation campaign ... with the intent of keeping these people off the streets," said Sarah Gelsomino of the Chicago chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries, including 50 heads of state, will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense.

Protesters and police were gearing up for Sunday, when even more demonstrations are expected. Estimates of how many might show up have varied widely, from a couple thousand to more than 10,000.

___

Associated Press writers Don Babwin, Jason Keyser, Shannon McFarland, Jim Suhr, Michael Tarm and Tammy Webber contributed to this report.

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  • An anti-NATO protestor flashes peace signs during a march, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • A bleeding anti-NATO protestor is comforted after a scuffle with police during a march, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • A bride and groom walk past as Chicago Occupy Wall Street Protesters march through the streets of downtown Chicago, Illinois, May 19, 2012, on the eve of the NATO summit. After a decade in Afghanistan, NATO leaders gather for a key summit May 20, 2012, hoping for a show of unity in the final two years of combat -- even though allies are eager to bring troops home. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chicago Occupy Wall Street Protesters march through the streets of downtown Chicago, Illinois, May 19, 2012, on the eve of the NATO summit. After a decade in Afghanistan, NATO leaders gather for a key summit May 20, 2012, hoping for a show of unity in the final two years of combat -- even though allies are eager to bring troops home. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A Chicago Occupy Wall Street Protester marches down Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, Illinois, May 19, 2012, on the eve of the NATO summit. After a decade in Afghanistan, NATO leaders gather for a key summit May 20, 2012, hoping for a show of unity in the final two years of combat -- even though allies are eager to bring troops home. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A NATO protestor is arrested after refusing to let go of a police bicycle, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the NATO summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Amy Rule, Rahm Emanuel

    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are greeted by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, center, and wife Amy Rule, during their arrival at O┬'Hare International airport in Chicago, Saturday, May, 19, 2012. Obama traveled to Chicago to host the two-day NATO summit. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at Chicago O'Hare International Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at Chicago O┬'Hare International airport in Chicago, Saturday, May, 19, 2012. Obama traveled to Chicago to host the two-day NATO summit. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Amy Rule

    President Barack Obama center, talks with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel right, and his wife Amy Rule left, before boarding Marine One, after arriving at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Saturday, May, 19, 2012. Obama traveled to Chicago to host the two-day NATO summit. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at Chicago O'Hare International Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • President of France Fran├žois Hollande arrives at O'Hare Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the NATO summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

  • President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus arrives at O'Hare Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

  • Ivo Daalder

    Ivo Daalder, US Ambassador to NATO sings during the seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field during the seventh inning of an interleague baseball game with the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)

  • A protester sits in front of Chicago police officers on State Street during a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • A protester marches next Chicago police mounted patrols on Michigan Avenue during a NATO summit demonstration in Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • A police officer wrestles with the hand of an NATO protestor who refused to let go of her bicycle, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the NATO summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • An anti-NATO protestor commandeers a police barricade during a march, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • A protester holds a sign as he marches during a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

  • Magode

    Chicago police officer captain Magode, center, talks with protesters on State Street during a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Police officers line up as protesters march during a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

  • NATO Flags

    Flags representing the NATO countries are displayed at Wrigley Field in a pregame ceremony before an interleague baseball game with the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)

  • Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard arrives at O'Hare Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

  • NATO demonstrators march towards Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • Sheik Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates arrives at O'Hare Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

  • Brent Vincent Betterly, Jared Chase, Brian Church

    This combo made from undated photos released Saturday, May 19, 2012 by the Chicago Police Department shows from left, Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, of Oakland Park, Fla., Jared Chase, 24, of Keene, N.H., and Brian Church, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The three men arrested Wednesday, May 16, 2012, in Chicago, accused of making Molotov cocktails with plans to attack President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home and other targets during this weekend's NATO summit, according to prosecutors at a court hearing Saturday. The three were arrested in a nighttime raid of an apartment in the city's South Side Bridgeport neighborhood ahead of the two-day meeting. (AP Photo/Chicago Police Department)

  • Occupy Chicago protesters march down Montrose Avenue to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emaunel's house during a demonstration Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the NATO summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Protesters march on Montrose Avenue during a NATO summit demonstration in Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • Occupy Chicago protesters sit in the street outside Chicago Mayor Rahm Emaunel's house during a march and demonstration Saturday, May 19 2012, in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the NATO summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Ivan Gasparovic, president of the Slovak Republic, arrives arrives at O'Hare Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

  • Protesters walk past Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • A protester walks past Chicago police officers outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago, ahead of this weekend's NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Protester Chris Litchfield, left, from Wooster, Mass., copies the emergency legal assistance number off the arm of Mitch L. Miller, from Washington, Saturday, May 19 2012, ahead of this weekend's NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Garry McCarthy

    Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, right, talks with one of his commanders across the street at Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house Saturday, May 19, 2012, ahead of this weekend's NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Protesters gather at Irving Park Brown Line to canvas Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's neighborhood as part of a NATO summit demonstration in Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • Protesters march in front of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house as part of a NATO summit demonstration in Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • Who should I be shooting?

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Keith_Habersberger"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://graph.facebook.com/22914183/picture?type=square" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Keith_Habersberger">Keith Habersberger</a>:<br />John Adams asked this gentleman "who I would be shooting right now?" and he couldn't say... wonder if he ever thinks about the lives of the people he thinks John Adams would shoot? www.imadeamerica.com

  • May 18: Police lined up with bicycles to prevent protesters from entering the street... accept there weren't any protesters after the first few minutes. <em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanryanryan/" target="_hplink">Photo by Ryan Williams</a>.</em>

  • May 18: CPD blocked stairwell exits off Michigan Ave at Illinois to push Occupy protesters from the splinter march down Michigan. <em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanryanryan/" target="_hplink">Photo by Ryan Williams</a>.</em>

  • Protesters block traffic on Michigan Ave., as they march through the city during a demonstration Friday, May 18, 2012, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. Thousands of nurses and other protesters gathered for the noisy but largely peaceful demonstration with a broad spectrum of causes, from anti-war activists to Occupy protesters to a Chicago Women┬'s AIDS project. The demonstrations Friday were the largest yet ahead of a two-day NATO summit that is expected to draw even larger protests. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • A member of National Nurses United, protests at a NATO summit demonstration at Daley Plaza, Friday, May 18 2012, in Chicago. Thousands of nurses and other protesters gathered for the noisy but largely peaceful demonstration with a broad spectrum of causes, from anti-war activists to Occupy protesters to a Chicago Women┬'s AIDS project. The demonstrations Friday were the largest yet ahead of a two-day NATO summit that is expected to draw even larger protests. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Tom Morello

    Eminent musician Tom Morello performs at a NATO summit demonstration at Daley Plaza, Friday, May 18 2012, in Chicago. Thousands of nurses and other protesters gathered for the noisy but largely peaceful demonstration with a broad spectrum of causes, from anti-war activists to Occupy protesters to a Chicago Women┬'s AIDS project. The demonstrations Friday were the largest yet ahead of a two-day NATO summit that is expected to draw even larger protests. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • A protester tears down a NATO summit banner from one of the bridge towers along the Chicago River at the Michigan Ave. bridge in Chicago. Friday, May 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Nomaan Merchant)

  • A member of National Nurses United, protests at a NATO summit demonstration at Daley Plaza, Friday, May 18 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • Protesters dance in the street as they block traffic during a demonstration Friday, May 18 2012, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • A protester pounds out a beat on a newspaper stand as they block traffic while marching through the city during a demonstration Friday, May 18 2012, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • May 18: Probably at the older end of the movement. This "greatful grandmother" was a big hit. <em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanryanryan/" target="_hplink">Photo by Ryan Williams</a>.</em>

  • May 18: At the end of the break-off march, people gathered at one of the places where it all began - the horse statue at Congress and Michigan. <em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanryanryan/" target="_hplink">Photo by Ryan Williams</a>.</em>

  • Protesters march through the streets of downtown Chicago at a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Friday, May 18 2012. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • An unidentified Chicago police officer removes himself from marching protesters on Michigan Ave., during a demonstration Friday, May 18 2012, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Protesters block traffic on Michigan Avenue as they march through the city during a demonstration Friday, May 18 2012, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)