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Protesters claim victory as G-8 moved from Chicago to Camp David, say NATO protests will go on

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CHICAGO - Protesters who've been planning for months to converge on Chicago for a pair of important world meetings this spring say they have a message: No G-8? No problem.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 06/03/2012 (3981 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

CHICAGO – Protesters who’ve been planning for months to converge on Chicago for a pair of important world meetings this spring say they have a message: No G-8? No problem.

The decision by the White House to move the Group of 8 economic summit to the Camp David presidential retreat while the NATO summit remains in Chicago might have split the reasons to protest. But it won’t diminish the number of people — tens of thousands, by some estimates — who plan to come to Chicago for a rally and march.

They will be protesting everything from war to poverty, said Andy Thayer, a leader of the Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism and the Gay Liberation Network and one of the principle planners of the Chicago protests.

“Guess what? The protests are going to happen anyway because if (protesters) are upset about G-8, they have just as much reason to be upset about NATO,” Thayer said.

The Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda obtained city permits to hold a rally in Daley Plaza downtown and march to the McCormick Place convention centre about 2 miles (3.2 kilometres) away on May 19 — only now there won’t be any meetings that day.

The NATO summit will be held over the following two days, and discussions are expected to include the war in Afghanistan.

Protest organizers on Tuesday applied for permits to rally and march May 20, because “we believe we have the right to … get within sight and sound of the summit,” said Joe Iosbaker, head of the United National Antiwar Committee in Chicago.

Camp David, the presidential retreat outside Washington where the G-8 meetings will be held May 18-19, is far more secure than downtown Chicago and it would be difficult, if not impossible, for protesters to get close to the meetings.

The White House said the economic summit was moved “to facilitate a free-flowing discussion with our close G-8 partners,” on economic, political and security issues.

Some protesters took that as a sign they’d run the summit out of town.

“It’s a major victory for those of us who are planning these protests,” Iosbaker said. “The administration is taking G-8 someplace where they won’t have to face the people who suffer under their policies.”

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