Businesses Get the Old Yes No on the G-8/NATO Summits
February 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Well which is it?
Mayor Rahm Emanuel was asked Thursday whether businesses located within the inner-most security perimeter will have a process to recover lost profits incurred during the May 19-21 events at McCormick Place.
“The [NATO and G-8] Host Committee is working on it. They’ll have a process for that,” he answered. …
Later, after some reflection:
His answers to the questions, once reported online Thursday, set off a flurry of denials. A spokeswoman issued a statement saying: “We have no plans to reimburse businesses – the city is open for business.”
When Jennifer Martinez, a spokeswoman for the NATO and G-8 Host Committee, was asked about compensation, she said: “The plan is for all businesses to be open. We do not anticipate businesses being closed. We will not reimburse businesses that decide to close on their own.”
via Chicago Sun-Times.
Oh, I see. I guess they didn’t want businesses closing to protect themselves and their employees from what might be 50,000 nutty protesters. I mean, other businesses are going to be doing just that:
Already, DePaul University has decided to close its Loop campus on the day before and the day after the summits and deny access to classrooms, labs, the cafeteria and offices in the Loop campus over a four-day period.
That seems a bit extreme for a private university. If there’s one thing the protesters understand it’s education. They want more of it for free. So why bother a university? Maybe DePaul knows something they’re not telling.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has said it has “extensive contingency plans” that would allow its employees to “work from home” or from an “off-site location” in the event that demonstrations turn ugly during the summits.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is an old building that has few doors and no windows. It has it’s own very intense security barriers between the street and the building itself and 24 hour armed guards in the adjacent alley. It is a fortress. And yet this place is making plans for employees to work from home or from an off-site location. If this place ain’t safe what chance does the rest of the city have?
And the Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier this week that the civil courtrooms at the Daley Center … could be closed down for security reasons in the days surrounding the unprecedented gathering of world leaders.
Earlier this month, United Airlines employees worried about how they will get to Willis Tower during the summits questioned Emanuel during a roundtable about the potentially $65 million event expected to turn the world spotlight on Chicago.
So it’s safe to say that a lot of people appear to have some very reasonable concerns. It’s not a much ado about nothing situation.
The mayor played down the inconvenience by describing the summits as a “weekend” event, conveniently ignoring the fact that protesters and world leaders are likely to arrive days before the meetings begin.
But, what was it that the protesters were saying again? Oh ya…
On May 1, 50,000 people from all over the world will flock to Chicago, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and #OCCUPYCHICAGO for a month.
Note to Rahm: It’s not the Heads of State breaking windows, blocking traffic, and starting squad cars on fire that people worry about. It the protesters. And they plan to be here for a month.