Trinity Episcopal (Anglican) Church

Hosting Protesters - No Brainer

 

 AUDIO of RADIO INTERVIEW

 

With Chicago’s NATO summit just days away, officials are battening down the hatches for protests that could draw thousands from out of town. But some other Chicagoans are rolling out a welcome mat for those same protesters. They’re clearing space in their businesses and churches, allowing tents in their yards, even opening spare bedrooms. We report from our West Side bureau.

 

Officials are planning to close streets and highways. They’re bringing in state police officers and National Guardsmen and preparing for mass arrests. They’re ready to roll out a military device that sends ear-piercing tones over long distances. But over in Chicago’s McKinley Park neighborhood, there is Lorraine Chavez.

 

CHAVEZ: And here is another bedroom if someone has an inflatable mattress. My kids are off to college so I have some empty space.

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John Marshall serves on the board of Trinity Episcopal Church. It’s just a few blocks from McCormick Place, the site of the NATO summit. He says hosting protesters is not exactly a stand against the military alliance.

 

MARSHALL: It was almost a no-brainer for us. It was just a matter of, really, logistics and trying to work out the logistics for it.

 

John Marshall serves on the board of that church, Trinity Episcopal. It’s just a few blocks from McCormick Place, the site of the NATO summit. He says hosting protesters is not exactly a stand against the military alliance.

 

MARSHALL: It’s the residue of what happens with war, what happens to refugees, what happens to people who are made poor because of war. Even if they’re not within the theater of war, there are lots of people who are poor in the world that we could be helping as opposed to making another B-1 bomber.

Trinity officials say there hasn’t been much fallout for taking that stand but they are hearing from some neighbors. When the church held an educational forum about NATO, some nearby homeowners showed up with questions about the campers.

 

NEIGHBOR: How are you going to keep your guests on your property and not coming onto the property of other people who live in the neighborhood?

 

MARSHALL: We’re going to monitor them. And they’re going to be outside at their own Porta-Potties and provide their own stuff.

MORE, WITH AUDIO