From the Chicago Tribune
The NATO protesters marching in the South Loop on Sunday were mostly peaceful when they were in Grant Park. They’re opposed to violence, opposed to the war in Afghanistan.
The only argument I became involved in was with the slightly militant vegans, like the guy who shouted at me, unprompted, “The human body wasn’t designed to digest meat!”
His colleague, Pamela Stelmasek, said he was just kidding.
“He talks like that,” Stelmasek said. “But he’s OK. You love your dog, but you eat farmed animals? How could you?”
How can I? With lemon and salt. But sometimes with a nice pan sauce.
There were others in the march who wanted trouble and got it, including some of the uniformed anarchists wearing black, although somebody should tell them that the phrase “uniformed anarchists” makes as much sense as “organized chaos” or “Chicago political reform.”
“I’m the one who was in the paper shaking hands with McCarthy,” said one of the anarchists.
He pulled down the scary anarchist bandanna from his face to reveal a kid, in his 20s, and he looked just like the young man on the front page of the Chicago Tribune the other day, shaking hands with the police superintendent.
Protesters and police wouldn’t be shaking hands later. The billy clubs would appear. The pushing would begin.
In Grant Park, before the march, there wasn’t the feel of a protest as much as it felt like a party on a college quad back in the day.
Parents brought their kids. People wore costumes. Some were dressed as dollar signs, others as skeletons and still others as medieval physicians in black robes with those long-nosed masks worn during the Black Death.
I asked the Black Death Physicians: Didn’t I see you at the Renaissance fair?
They pointed ominously at me with long fingers, but one gave me a thumbs-up and I thought I could see her eyes crinkle in a grin.