Group Upset After Chicago Revokes NATO Protest Permit

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According to the Huffington Post, Chicago has revoked a permit from Nurses United, the nation's largest nurses union, forcing the group to reroute its rally set to take place the Friday before the NATO summit. Instead of ending at Daley Plaza, the union will have to cease its march at Grant Park.

* The Chicago Tribune reported the union said it has begun talking with lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union about bringing a lawsuit.

* In a letter sent to the organizers of the protest, city officials cited safety concerns because the group had recently added Tom Morello, formerly the guitarist for Rage Against the Machine and now the solo act of The Nightwatchmen, to perform and speak at the event.

* Nurses United protest organizers estimated about 1,000 people would participate in the May 18 rally and it was the only NATO protest that received a permit for a weekday march.

* Morello spoke out against the city's decision, saying, "I don't care what they say or do, I'm coming to rock out and speak my mind. We won't be silenced and we won't be stopped. If Rahm Emanuel is so afraid of my popularity in Chicago maybe I should run against him in the next election," according to Rolling Stone.

* Michael Simon, an assistant commissioner of the Department of Transportation, said the reason the city had changed its mind was "to accommodate changes to your event, including a performance by a nationally known musician and a significantly increased number of expected attendees."

* According to the Associated Press, city officials argued the union failed to notify the city it was actively recruiting more people to join the rally and the number of participants could likely be well over 1,000.

* Chicago Law Department spokesman Roderick Drew stood behind the issue of safety and said Grant Park was also a high-profile place for the rally to be held.

* The union plans to file a lawsuit before Thursday to have its original permit and parade route reinstated, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Rachel Bogart provides an in-depth look at current environmental issues and local Chicago news stories. As a college student from the Chicago suburbs pursuing two science degrees, she applies her knowledge and passion to both topics to garner further public awareness.

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