As groups of protesters continue to arrive in Chicago in advance of the NATO summit, beginning Sunday at McCormick Place, one group in particular is expected to turn heads during a Friday rally.
A group called ClownBloq, according to WTTW, announced this week that it will participate in the rally organized by National Nurses United and featuring rocker Tom Morello.
"We’re not just here to shout and chant. We are here to have fun and enjoy ourselves," ClownBloq organizer José Whelan told WTTW. "If the revolution’s not fun, I don’t want to be involved."
In a press release, ClownBloq said their "intention is to be both disarming and tactically militant. We are trained in traditional forms of hard blocks, soft blocks, de-arrest techniques as well as other historically significant tactics. It must be consistently reiterated that Clown Bloq is both a joke and NOT a joke."
CBS Chicago reports that the clown protesters will be armed with 1,000 whipped cream pies. One member of the group said it will be "very telling of the violence of this state to see the response of the police officers to a pie."
ClownBloq tweeted that they will be hosting their first training for demonstration participants Thursday evening.
"Do you think they'll send a special team to follow us around at NATO? Are we dangerous enough to start a #ClownOps division?" the group tweeted Thursday.
Protests ahead of NATO began earlier this week with a spirited demonstration at President Obama's campaign headquarters in downtown Chicago. Eight anti-war protesters were arrested after they rushed into Prudential Plaza and refused to leave the building's lobby. On Tuesday, four protesters were arrested during an Occupy Chicago-led demonstration against U.S. immigration policy in the city's West Loop.
On Wednesday, about 150 protesters marched in downtown Chicago pushing for a one-year moratorium on local home evictions and foreclosures. The Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday that the state of Illinois is the third-worst in the nation when it comes to foreclosures.
Meanwhile, some retail businesses and condo buildings downtown are boarding up in preparation for the summit's arrival, CBS Chicago reports.
Chicago: Catch a battle gear-clad federal agent near your go-to Starbucks spot? Overhear someone chattering about what "they [said] back in '68?" Send us your NATO-related photos, tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet your news to #natochicago.
Check out photos of pre-NATO protests and other pre-summit happenings in Chicago, as well as an outline of agenda items world leaders will be taking up during the meeting: