Occupy Chicago held a “F** the Police” rally as they marched through the streets Tuesday night shouting “From Chicago to Greece, F*** the Police.” A short video clip I took as the crowd was just beginning to form follows (language warning: not safe for work):
Compared to last fall’s protests, the level of anger and violence has escalated both in the demeanor and chants of the protesters. More overtly visible Communist and anarchist flags and symbols were in evidence in the clothing, flags, and chants of the Occupy crowds.
Video cannot capture the feeling of walking among the Occupy of spring 2012; the group Tuesday night seethed with anger and a desire to engage with the police, taunting and yelling at them as they lined the streets. Many were dressed in all black with masks or bandannas covering their faces.
Chicago Riot Police with helmets and clubs were called in as they attempted to keep the march on the streets, and they lined the roofs of the buildings along Halsted Street. One of the Occupiers yelled “Sieg Heil” as the marchers made their way north.
“It’s quite possible the police are worried about property damage,” said a man livestreaming the march as police corralled the protesters off the sidewalks.
At 8:00 pm CST, one of the Occupiers struck an elderly man; the man walked away rather than press charges:
Occupy Chicago was already trying to distance itself from the violence of the march Tuesday night, saying that it wasn’t affiliated with their group. However, the official twitter stream promoted the location of the march and “@occupychicago” along with the hashtag #FTP:
The protest was neither nonviolent nor about NATO; this was about a show of force against the local authorities and setting the tone for the rest of the week.