After NATO summit, questions about protest mindset

May 22, 2012 • National News

A protester wearing mask of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, shoots out silly string during a demonstration outside Boeing corporate offices Monday, May 21 2012, in Chicago, on the final day of the NATO summit. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO (AP) — For activists, the NATO summit in Chicago served as one big stage from which to air a broad range of grievances — not just the war in Afghanistan or other actions of the 63-year-old military alliance.

In their effort to maximize turnout, organizers were quick to welcome a wide variety of interests, including Occupy protesters, immigration groups, the nation’s largest nurses union and others.

But after a week of protests and rallies, the all-inclusive mindset raised questions about the focus of some of the nation’s major protest movements. Were their messages becoming too diffuse to make a difference?

“The issue with the protests here is that everybody is kind of protesting their own thing. There’s not really a solid voice and united message against NATO,” protester Trent Carl said Monday during a demonstration at Boeing Co. headquarters organized by Occupy Chicago to oppose the company’s tax breaks.

Carl, who said he was not part of the Occupy crowd, was disappointed that the week’s protests weren’t more focused on NATO.

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