Monica Davey and Steven Yaccino reported for Tuesday's New York Times from Chicago, the site of the NATO summit and left-wing protests and put the best spin on the violent clashes that led to 90 arrests over the course of a week: "Day of Subdued Protests Follows Night of Clashes in Chicago." The text box: "The prospect of widespread chaos does not materialize."
Apparently left-wing protests are graded on a curve, as "about 90 arrests" is considered "an uneventful weekend." And the Times decided it was safe to mention the Occupy movement's involvement in the protests, after conveniently leaving them out of its previous reporting on terror threats and violence against cops in Chicago.
On the final day of the NATO summit meeting here, Chicago was oddly quiet. Several hundred demonstrators, a far smaller group than had marched through downtown in the days before, staged a “die in” on Monday outside the headquarters of Boeing, whose workers, like many Chicagoans, had stayed home to avoid trouble.
It was a subdued ending for a city that had, for months, braced for chaos that a global summit meeting might bring and had, for ages, bristled at the images from its 1968 Democratic convention, when the police and protesters battled for days.
Images on Sunday evening of skirmishes between the police and protesters -- police batons waving and objects being hurled -- raised the prospect of more widespread clashes or a lasting taint on the summit meeting. But by Monday evening, some said they believed that the ugly scuffles would not overshadow what had amounted largely to an uneventful weekend.
The paper again strove to portray left-wing violence as "occasional" flareups in "otherwise peaceful events."
For days leading up to the meeting of world leaders, protesters, many of them affiliated with the Occupy movement, had flocked to Chicago to voice their opposition to war, NATO and a host of other causes. A significant police presence -- on foot, horseback and bicycle and in unmarked vans -- had been in evidence through days of marches and rallies. Tensions occasionally flared and taunts were hurled in otherwise peaceful events.
Over the week, the Chicago police reported a total of about 90 arrests, a number city officials described as minimal compared with events like the G-20 economic summit meeting in Pittsburgh in 2009 (where, according to Chicago officials, 193 arrests were reported), the Republican National Convention in St. Paul in 2008 (818 arrests) or the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999 (574 arrests).
“It’s not what happened that’s the story -- it’s what didn’t happen,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in an interview late Monday, asserting that the Chicago Police Department had behaved admirably and with restraint.