Adbusters, the activist magazine which was instrumental in spurring on the early stages of the Occupy movement this summer, has put out a call for 50,000 people to come to Chicago when the city welcomes over 7,000 world leaders during the concurrent NATO and G8 summits this May.
In a tactical briefing posted Wednesday, the magazine calls on protesters "from all over the world" to "flock to Chicago, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and #OCCUPYCHICAGO for a month," beginning on May 1.
The post proceeds to describe restrictions the city may -- and has already -- imposed on protesters of the summits as "phony" and in violation of their first amendment rights.
"And if they don't listen," the briefing continues," if they ignore us and put our demands on the back burner like they've done so many times before ... then, with Gandhian ferocity, we'll flashmob the streets, shut down stock exchanges, campuses, corporate headquarters and cities across the globe ... we'll make the price of doing business as usual too much to bear."
(Scroll down to watch a report on the expected NATO, G8 summit protests.)
The rallying cry arrives at a moment where, still more than three months away from the summits, the city is warning downtown businesses to ramp up their security in anticipation of conflicts with the thousands of protesters expected in the Loop that some fear could mirror the intense protests at a 1999 World Trade Organization in Seattle.
As the Chicago Sun-Times reports, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce has said businesses, particularly those on State Street and North Michigan Avenue, should institute "24-hour security on the street" to help their customers feel safe. Where possible, Loop businesses are being told to allow their employees to work from home.
Lori Healey, executive director of the NATO and G8 Host Committee, told the Sun-Times "this sort of doomsday attitude is a little disconcerting. ... If and when there are impacts, we'll deal with it." She also noted that the U.S. Secret Service, which is setting a security parameter around the McCormick Place summits, is aiming "not to create a security state and to make sure Chicago can function as normally as possible" during the event.
On Wednesday, the city unveiled a new slogan for the event: "The global crossroads," ABC Chicago reported.
And while questions persist of what exact parts of the city's downtown area will be blocked off by the Secret Service -- this information won't be made public until about four weeks before the summits -- and how downtown businesses and residents may be impacted, Healey told ABC that "all the focus on negativity is unproductive and not a good way to focus our energies at this point."
Meanwhile, police continue to busily prepare for the summits. The anonymous Second City Cop blogger came under fire when he recently posted an image of a roll of black electrical tape under the title "Your new G8 best friend."
"Use as necessary," the post reads. "UPDATE: It's not for securing anything. UPDATE: Hint - it covers things."
While some local media, most notably CBS Chicago, suggested that the post was encouraging the city's cops to use tape to obscure their badge numbers, a la Oakland police last year, Second City Cop claimed the post and its comments contained "not a single instance of advocating rule breaking or disobeying general orders, Department policy or disregard for the law."
Earlier this month, the Chicago City Council overwhelmingly approved two ordinances Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced to crack down on expected NATO and G8 protesters via stricter rules for parade organizers, increased fines for resisting arrest and a green light for the mayor's blanket spending authority for the summits going forward.
The event is expected to cost between $40 million and $65 million -- a figure the city claims will be covered by private donors and federal funding.