As 60 world leaders gathered in Chicago for a two-day NATO meeting beginning Sunday, May 20, they were greeted by thousands of protesters -- not to mention 2,500 journalists -- who swarmed the town as Barack Obama, Hamid Karzai, and the rest of the gang gathered to discuss Afghanistan and other global defense issues. Photos of Chicago police preparing for the worst, with many  officers in riot gear and with reinforcements called in from outside  the city, may hint at why NATO summits are usually held abroad. However, the protesters' weapon of choice seemed to be mostly absurdity, as many of those in attendance donned clown suits and body paint.       Above, a particularly comic stand off between a couple demonstrators and a cordon of police officers.

NATO and the Clown Show

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As 60 world leaders gathered in Chicago for a two-day NATO meeting beginning Sunday, May 20, they were greeted by thousands of protesters -- not to mention 2,500 journalists -- who swarmed the town as Barack Obama, Hamid Karzai, and the rest of the gang gathered to discuss Afghanistan and other global defense issues. Photos of Chicago police preparing for the worst, with many  officers in riot gear and with reinforcements called in from outside  the city, may hint at why NATO summits are usually held abroad. However, the protesters' weapon of choice seemed to be mostly absurdity, as many of those in attendance donned clown suits and body paint.       Above, a particularly comic stand off between a couple demonstrators and a cordon of police officers.

As 60 world leaders gathered in Chicago for a two-day NATO meeting beginning Sunday, May 20, they were greeted by thousands of protesters -- not to mention 2,500 journalists -- who swarmed the town as Barack Obama, Hamid Karzai, and the rest of the gang gathered to discuss Afghanistan and other global defense issues. Photos of Chicago police preparing for the worst, with many officers in riot gear and with reinforcements called in from outside the city, may hint at why NATO summits are usually held abroad. However, the protesters' weapon of choice seemed to be mostly absurdity, as many of those in attendance donned clown suits and body paint.

Above, a particularly comic stand off between a couple demonstrators and a cordon of police officers.

Demonstrators marche to the McCormick Center, where the NATO summit was held, to protest. A variety of causes were represented, as can be seen above. In this group, signs castigate FBI raids, corporate welfare, and "G8 warmakers" (a refrence to the weekend's G-8 summit at Camp David) while support is expressed for free speech, the right to organize, and "bongs not bombs."

Demonstrators marche to the McCormick Center, where the NATO summit was held, to protest. A variety of causes were represented, as can be seen above. In this group, signs castigate FBI raids, corporate welfare, and "G8 warmakers" (a refrence to the weekend's G-8 summit at Camp David) while support is expressed for free speech, the right to organize, and "bongs not bombs."

A masked protester speaks no evil.

A masked protester speaks no evil.

Anarchist demonstrators, dressed in all black, protested during the first day of the Chicago  NATO summit. While there were some scuffles with police, the protests were mostly peaceful with "fewer than two dozen" arrests.

Anarchist demonstrators, dressed in all black, protested during the first day of the Chicago NATO summit. While there were some scuffles with police, the protests were mostly peaceful with "fewer than two dozen" arrests.

Women from the antiwar group CodePink yell during a protest at the summit's kickoff.

Women from the antiwar group CodePink yell during a protest at the summit's kickoff.

A group of veterans demonstrated with other protesters. Some threw their service medals into the street as a sign of protest.

A group of veterans demonstrated with other protesters. Some threw their service medals into the street as a sign of protest.

A man helped make signs supporting the release of accused WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, curently awaiting trial on a number of charges, including aiding the enemy.

A man helped make signs supporting the release of accused WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, curently awaiting trial on a number of charges, including aiding the enemy.

        A man wears the now ubiquitous Guy Fawkes mask, now closely identified with the Anonymous hacking movement.

 

A man wears the now ubiquitous Guy Fawkes mask, now closely identified with the Anonymous hacking movement.

A demonstrator holds a sign expressing general displeasure with the U.S. government at the summit meating on May 20.

A demonstrator holds a sign expressing general displeasure with the U.S. government at the summit meating on May 20.

       A masked protestor marches in downtown Chicago holding a sign referencing a popular Internet meme. 

 

A masked protestor marches in downtown Chicago holding a sign referencing a popular Internet meme

Robots for peace?

Robots for peace?

A protester mimicks police while wearing a boot on his head in front of the Chicago Art Museum.

A protester mimicks police while wearing a boot on his head in front of the Chicago Art Museum.

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