Dozens of demonstrators calling for an end to war rushed into President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters in Chicago on Monday morning, and eight were arrested, NBC Chicago reported.
The protest, led by a group associated with the Catholic Worker movement, was the first of a series of planned demonstrations and marches by groups highlighting poverty, environmental, and education issues during the May 20-21 NATO summit in the city and the May 18-19 G8 summit at Camp David in Maryland.
"We are here today to boldly proclaim our desire to live in a world where we say no to NATO and yes to community," said Chantal de Alacuaz from Chicago in a release by the Chicago-based White Rose Catholic Worker posted late Sunday night. "As Catholic Workers, we serve the poor by practicing the works of mercy — feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, taking care of the sick and the works of war are directly opposed to that."
The plan, according to the release was to “invite Obama and other NATO leaders to break bread over a symbolic meal to discuss how to transform NATO from an instrument of war and empire into an instrument of peace and love that embodies the biblical works of mercy instead of the works of war.”
About 100 people took part in the demonstration, according to the Chicago Tribune. As eight protesters were led out of the building in handcuffs, other demonstrators danced and sang folk songs and gospel, and handed rolls to commuters, it said.
"We see NATO as using up a lot of resources in the city and the world," said Jesica Arents, a member of the group speaking to the paper.
She said some of the demonstrators had come from across the Midwest and would be joining NATO protests throughout the week, the Tribune reported. The group was committed to remaining non-violent, she said.
Those arrested were charged with criminal trespass, according to NBCChicago.com.
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