|Anarchists challenging police|
I marched the entire length of the anti-NATO march. Marching were occupiers, communists, socialists, and anarchists. With the far-left, it's hard to tell where one group ends and where another begins.
The march--conducted under brutally hot conditions--ended at Cermak Road and Michigan Avenue. There was an hour worth of speeches which I didn't care to listen to--and I promised Teri O'Brien that I would offer a rundown on the protest for her BlogTalkRadio show. I chose a quiet alley for that phone call to "the Conservative Warrior Princess."
After I gave O'Brien my report I noticed a ruckus at Cermak and Michigan, where the march ended. Of course I went to find out what was going on. Black bloc anarchists, about 200 of them, refused to leave. They wanted to march to McCormick Place--where the actual summit was being held.
As you will seen in my video, some of the anarchists threw water bottles at the cops. And not all of the protesters were anarchists. There's an IWW flag flying--which stands for Industrial Workers of the World--a socialist union known as the Wobblies. But as I explained earlier, the boundaries of these groups are blurry.
I witnessed three men with head wounds. I don't know how they were injured. One is in the second segment of the video--occupiers are crying out, "We need a medic!"
After I recorded these video clips, the police pushed back against the black bloc. Between them and I were less radical occupiers--behind me were metal police barricades and bicycles. The cops pushed--but there was nowhere for us to go but down. I landed partially on a bike--the rest of me was pinned against a barricade. On top of me were occupiers--mercifully they were young and not heavy. One of my elbows was dug into a woman's back. Another man yelled out, "Somebody's got a knee grinding into me." That was my knee--and I couldn't move it away. Sorry about that, if you happen to be reading this post.
|After the crush|
In the area near me there were about five people pinned against the barricades--and there were probably at least five more--but I wasn't in the mood to conduct a hasty census or to solicit interviews.
A few minutes afterwards I telephoned a fellow conservative blogger and told him about my nasty experience. He asked, "Did you get video?" Not of me getting crushed. Sometimes journalism has to take a back seat to other needs.
|Makeshift medic area|
However, I made a error too--a boneheaded one. I managed to find trouble to report on--but I neglected to remember to look for an escape from that trouble when I approached the black bloc scrum. I learned a lesson--but fortunately it is one that was not dearly bought.
When I returned home last night, Mrs. Marathon Pundit asked if I was glad that I covered this event. Yes, I am.
As for the occupiers, the anarchists and their fellow travelers, I have some advice for them. It's time to end the protests--they are accomplishing nothing worthwhile. A Republican senator supposedly offered this suggestion in regards to our involvement in the Vietnam War: "Declare victory and get out." It's time for this movement to do the same.
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that an undetermined number of protesters were arrested and that seven demonstrators were treated at Mercy Hospital. I am sure more information will be available later today.
UPDATE May 24: A number of readers have inquired about my physical condition over the last few days. "Unhurt" may have been slightly inaccurate description-- but I wrote this post after midnight eight hours after being inadvertently "occupied" by the occupiers. In addition to my thigh bruise, which is the size of my fist, I have smaller bruises--all on my right side, including ones on my shoulder, upper arm, and hip bone. But these will heal shortly. And I ran today--a slow four miles.
The Chicago Sun-Times must have had reporters near where I fell--their report is the best I've read of the mainstream media articles about this nearly tragic story.
Photos and video: Meaningless anti-NATO Rahm march, with Code Pink and graffiti
NSFW Video: Occupy Chicago anti-NATO 'F' bomb chants
Video: Occupier destroys huge NATO banner
Photo: Ayers and Dohrn at anti-NATO rally
"First Amendment is our permit" occupiers hold Stop Rush Limbaugh march
Video: Chicago 'F' the Police march--working class gives anarchists hostile reception
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