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Chicago Preparing To Get Thousands Of Out-Of-Town Protesters For NATO

Jess Sundin (left), fom Minneapolis, and Joe Lombardo (right), from Albany, N.Y., are just two of thousands of people expected to come from outside the Chicago area to protest the NATO summit on May 20-21. (Credit: CBS)

Jess Sundin (left), fom Minneapolis, and Joe Lombardo (right), from Albany, N.Y., are just two of thousands of people expected to come from outside the Chicago area to protest the NATO summit on May 20-21. (Credit: CBS)

Dana Kozlov Dana Kozlov
Dana Kozlov is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago. She...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – This week, you might as well call Chicago the protest capital of the world.

Activists are coming here from across the country for the NATO summit, along with their signs, and guitars, and bandanas.

CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov met with some of the out-of-town protesters on Tuesday, and asked them what Chicago can expect.

Behind the walls of a borrowed apartment in Pilsen, two out-of-staters are planning their week leading up to the NATO summit.

Jess Sundin is from Minneapolis. Joe Lombardo is from Albany, N.Y. For them, coming to Chicago to protest NATO was a no-brainer. It’s what they do.

“I’ve pretty much have been an anti-war activist all my life,” Lombardo said.

He and Sundin said they began making plans for their Chicago trip when the NATO summit location was finalized. They arrived early for a reason.

“There’s a lot of logistical work. We’ve got to get some signs put together. We’ve got to do the outreach with the media here in Chicago, so we can get our message out clear,” Sundin said.

Lombardo said he expects thousands of out-of-town protesters to attend the various rallies before and during the summit.

San Francisco vocation program coordinator Nancy Mancias is one of them.

“I’m going to be here to support the nurses,” Mancias said of a Friday protest rally at Daley Plaza, planned by National Nurses United.

She also plans to voice her opposition to what she sees as NATO’s support of war in Afghanistan.

“I wanted to be here, along with my friends here in Chicago, and across the country, and be in solidarity,” she said.

So, as protestors trickle in, and the city prepares for the summit, the question is how will out-of-towners treat this city.

“You will not see violence from the protestors,” Lombardo said.

Still, police are preparing for anything.

Organizers expect most out-of-state protesters to arrive later this week.

Local protestors – and some churches – are giving or helping them find places to stay.