Tuesday at 5 p.m. protesters began gathering across the street from the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank to sound off against President Obama‘s use of drones to attack targets around the world. At the same time, US Representative, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was speaking to the Democratic National Convention in Asheville North Carolina.
Drone model on display in front of the Chicago Board of Trade.
Photo by Lee Klawans
Around 75 protesters gathered with a large scale model of the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator drone along with 8 faux coffins that represented civilians killed by drone attacks. The coffins were made of black plywood, life size and painted with the words “Hope” and “Change” on the tops. The sides said “RIP” in blood red. Drone attacks have been responsible for many civilian death, the exact totals are unknown.
The march headed east on Jackson until it reached Michigan Avenue and headed north. Eight Chicago police officers and a couple of police cars accompanied the crowd. They continued up Michigan to Randolph to their destination, President Obama’s campaign headquarters in the Prudential Building. The police arranged their bikes in a row to block the entrance to the building. Protesters laid down the coffins in two rows of four in front of the police line.
The gathering completely blocked off the side walk. Pedestrians were forced to walk around the protest in the street. Protesters then began making speeches denouncing the Obama administration on a battery powered megaphone on the sidewalk in front of the caskets.
Among the groups marching was The World Can’t Wait. They are a national movement formed to halt and reverse wars. Occupy Chicago members made up the majority of the participants. The speeches continued for about 45 minutes and the crowd disbursed.
The group left the coffins on the sidewalk in front of President Obama’s campaign headquarters. The Police decided about 10 minutes later to stack them up and await city sanitation workers who hauled them away in pick up trucks. It was a fitting funeral conclusion for the protest.
Check out the slide show for a visual story of the march. Protesters rally against Obama’s drone attacks
[Editor's Note: I found a lot of ads interspersed with the great photos of the protest. Ignore them.]