Protesters arrive from East, West Coast for NATO Summit

May 18, 2012

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(WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)
Nan Wigmore, a retiree from Portland, joined an Occupy Chicago protest in Chicago’s financial district Friday afternoon as politicians and diplomats arrived for the NATO summit.

The bulk of NATO delegates are set to fly into O’Hare Saturday. But many out-of -town visitors are already on the streets of Chicago.

On Friday, Gio Andollo was strumming his guitar and singing one of his original "Occupy" songs near a nurses' rally in the Loop. This one's about a lot of things: peace, the types of goods we buy, and how they are produced.

Andollo, a New Yorker, was part of the original Occupy Wall Street movement. He’s been touring East Coast occupations so Chicago seemed like the natural next step – especially to protest what he called NATO’s "agenda of war and perpetual poverty".

Meanwhile, Portland, Oregon retiree Nan Wigmore had a similar message.

"We’re trying to tell NATO they have not been behaving and they have to show us what good behavior is like," said Wigmore, who marched with her walker.

Another original Wall Street occupier, Frankie Olivo, 22, said that he knew Chicago would be "a big reunion".

Olivo has been to New Hampshire, Washington and Connecticut Occupy protests. But he says the police keep breaking those encampments up – so he came here, hoping to meet old friends.

"I want to see all the faces I’ve seen from the beginning coming and fighting for what we believe in," said Olivo, who added that includes taking the movement to the NATO summit.