– It’s Not Just the Red Cross Preparing for an Evacuation of Chicago During NATO Summit (Intel Hub, May 9, 2012):
It has now emerged that it was not just the Red Cross and hospitals that were told to prepare for various emergency scenarios surrounding the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago.
To get some background on what is going on and the potential outcomes, watch the short video below:
This topic was also discussed in detail with Drew Lamb on episode 14 of End the Lie Radio which you can see below as well:
The local Chicago CBS affiliate recently reported that Benedictine University has been contacted by the American Red Cross chapter in DuPage County to set up emergency shelters.
This is being done in order to prepare for a potential evacuation of Chicago during the NATO summit and the Lisle campus of Benedictine University has been instructed to plan for up to 1,000 evacuees.
Keep in mind that is just one of the many locations being prepared for a potentially massive influx of evacuees.
Earlier the same local CBS affiliate reported that the Milwaukee Red Cross had been asked by both the City of Chicago and the Secret Service to set up shelters.
Unsurprisingly, both the city and the Secret Service refused to confirm that they had given any such instructions.
Benedictine is just one of many locations which will be tapped in case of a massive evacuation.
“Benedictine is one of dozens of colleges, universities, community centers or churches standing by just in case Chicagoans must leave their homes because of violence or any other reason connected to the NATO summit,” CBS 2 reports.
“Whether it be for a couple of hours because they haven’t been able to contact a family member, or overnight,” said safety specialist for Benedictine University, Michi Dubes.
Volunteers are already signing up to help deal with potential evacuees, and according to one Joan Henehan volunteers “need to be able to spend the night and work long shifts.”
Some local-area facilities are offering themselves as refuges for the many anti-NATO activists who will inevitably swarm Chicago during the summit.
One such facility, the Trinity Episcopal Church, is offering their fenced lawn to anti-NATO protesters coming from outside Chicago.
The pastor, Reverend Errol Narain, said that he will allow up to 60 bicycle-riding protesters from Wisconsin to camp out on the church’s lawn for days.
“We feel that this is quite clearly within the mission of the church to identify with these groups who are struggling on the side of the poor,” Rev. Narain said, adding that he too will be demonstrating against NATO.
It is unclear why these plants for a massive evacuation are in place, but I find it truly worrisome that they are conducting dirty bomb drills. In my opinion, that isn’t a good sign.
The security around Chicago is being ramped up considerably, as I pointed out in the above video.
In addition to those measures, there could be airport-style security screenings conducted at some train stations in the area, while other stations could be shut down entirely including some on the Metra Electric Line and South Shore Line.
There will also be street closures, parking restrictions and passengers hoping to use trains very well might face airport-style grope downs, X-ray screenings, the dreaded security lines and long delays.
However, even these seemingly over-the-top security measures pale in comparison to the no-fly zone which will reportedly be put in place over Chicago during the summit.
Indeed, according to CBS 2, this no-fly zone will be enforced with a shoot-to-kill order from May 19 to May 21.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has put out a flight advisory banning non-commercial aircraft from operating within a 10 nautical mile radius of downtown Chicago at any altitude below 18,000 feet.
The restricted area extends from 10 to 30 miles outside downtown Chicago. Only aircraft arriving or departing from local airports will be allowed within this restricted area and all other types of flights will be banned.
“The United States Government may use deadly force against the airborne aircraft, if it is determined that the aircraft poses an imminent security threat,” the advisory says. “Be advised that noncompliance with the published (notice to airmen) may result in the use of force”
As always, I hope that all of the speculation surrounding these choices are proven to be completely erroneous and the entire summit will go off without a hitch without a single unlawful arrest or any evacuation.
However, as we have seen in the coordinated response to the peaceful Occupy Wall Street protests, the government does not always handle First Amendment-protected activities all too gently.