As you may be aware, Chicago will be hosting the 2012 NATO and G8 Summits. These summits have historically attracted thousands of spectators, attendees and protesters. In recent meetings with City of Chicago officials, it has been communicated that preparation for these summits should begin now. Some key points of interest we have obtained from numerous sources that you should be aware of include:
- The summits are tentatively scheduled for mid-to-late May, 2012 – locations are not disclosed at this time. It is more than likely they will be held in the downtown area. Detailed information about exact locations and dates will not be shared until deemed necessary by authority.
- The conference has been deemed an “NSSE” event (National Special Security Event). This means that Federal authorities will be overseeing the security and logistics of the conference.
- The summits can attract large numbers of protest groups and protesters, who have historically been quite destructive and sometimes violent. Property damage, violent attacks and overall disorderly behavior are expected throughout the time period that the summits are occurring.
Perhaps the most infamous U.S. incident occurred in Seattle in 1999, when a protest against a World Trade Organization meeting devolved into widespread rioting. About 35,000 protesters descended on the city, and police used tear gas and rubber bullets against crowds. Businesses reported more than $2 million in damage.
- Properties in the downtown area should be planning now. Emergency plans should be reviewed, including consideration for civil disturbances and potentially substantial property damage.
- Properties should review their budgets, and allocate appropriate funds for additional staffing, video surveillance and recording equipment, property damage mitigation supplies (board-up, construction materials) and property line demarcation and protection (barricades, perimeter tape, etc.) during the conference.
- Prepare for many “rolling”, or random, street closures throughout the week of the conference. Police barricades, security details and riot officers may be seen in quantity throughout the downtown area as well.
Feel free to reach out to Titan representatives to answer any questions you may have regarding the summits and how to plan for them. We will share more information as we are made aware.