Thank You, NATO Protesters

Thanks to weeks of warning, the good people of Chicago did exactly what was expected of them.  They stayed away from downtown.  Which means that my walk to work along the normally crowded sidewalk was empty of both commuters and protesters.  And we didn’t hit any traffic anywhere.  I even visited Water Tower Mall Sunday afternoon (and trust me, I never go to Water Tower on a weekend – so many tourists taking up space and playing games)  And the best part?  I had an excuse to wear jeans to work every day for a week!

Note:  Above photo is the Boeing castle, er, building, prepared to ward off invaders.  Only thing missing is holes for archers to aim and fire and large vats of chocolate to pour on the opposing army.

I never even saw a protester.  Live that is.  We all watched them on tv acting like idiots down by McCormick Place.  I have to give credit – the Chicago police did an excellent job of containing the idiots.  (Although, I don’t know why it was considered breaking news … 50 protesters seeking to get past 200 officers …  that seemed like a good idea … it was such a nail biter to the very end.  Who was going to win …  wait, I remember, the clear winner was always going to be the Chicago police who had to deal with idiots all day and do it in 90 degree heat.)

Also, a great speaker got up at a protest gathering point, and after a very long minute of “Check, Check, Check, Check” into the microphone, he proceeded to lead the crowd in a series of chants.  Then he broke into a longer paragraph and the crowd started to try to repeat him.  But they got lost about 3 words in.  And the lead speaker told the crowd, “That’s OK, you don’t have to repeat that.”

Anyway, my favorite protest happened yesterday. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE — A few hundred protesters marched toward Boeing Corp.’s headquarters west of the Loop Monday chanting, “We’re gonna beat back the Boeing attack.”  (At least they can rhyme)  They arrived at the building at the Chicago River and began shouting, “Shame on Boeing! Shame on Boeing!” (Wait, that doesn’t rhyme.  Nevermind.  Haha, that does kinda rhyme.  They should hire me to write their slogans.)  The activists were making paper planes and writing anti-war messages on them.

Did anyone else giggle at the idea of protesters making paper planes?  And the protest was successful – if you define success as keeping a couple hundred employees away from their office.  By the end of the afternoon, the protesters were down to dozen or so randomly making their around the loop.  Yep, the glorious protests were down to a couple (perhaps drunk?) idiots roaming around the deserted streets of downtown.   One onlooker commented that they have family reunions bigger then this. 

I would totally get on this bandwagon … but I got so far behind in my glee episodes, that I just gave up and deleted them from my DVR.

Anyway, it was a successful weekend.  I enjoyed the peace and quiet and the ability to get a salesperson’s attention on a weekend.  NATO, feel free to come back next year!

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