When Preparing for Major Events, How Should Cities Balance Civil Rights and Security?

David Lepeska

The G8/NATO summit heading to Chicago this spring is still several months off, but the city’s security preparations are in full swing. Officials recently expanded Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s authority and increased the application requirements for protest groups in preparation for the Chicago’s turn in the international spotlight this May.

The concurrent summits mark the first time the two major international events have been held simultaneously in the same city since London in the late 1970s. Some 10,000 diplomats are expected from 80 countries, as well as dozens of world leaders and tens of thousands of protesters.

The combination of amped-up professional protesters, still-seething Occupy members and an election year could turn G8/NATO into a „train wreck.“

According to the new ordinances, protesters must now gain pre-approval for large banners and sound equipment, access to public parks and beaches will be restricted and the minimum fine for violations will be increased from $50 to $200. (more on theatlanticcities.com)