NATO Summit "Red Zone" Protection Begins Next Week

By aaroncynic in News on Apr 26, 2012 6:20PM

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Federal law enforcement dressed for battle and equipped with “non lethal” bean bag guns will begin patrolling the streets of the loop next week in the lead up to the NATO summit. Dubbed “Operation Red Zone,” the Federal Protective Service will head up the operation and create a security perimeter as a show of force, the Sun-Times reports. The “red zone” extends from Harrison to Adams, between State Street and Franklin. While officers will patrol the area in battle gear, Cleophas Bradley, deputy regional director with the FPS told the Sun-Times “we will not be preventing anyone from entering the area.”

Protest actions are already planned for May 1, May 15 and May 19 that will more than likely have a presence in the loop. In the event of actions containing civil disobedience, the FPS will reportedly shut down the entire “red zone” temporarily until order is restored.

Area businesses, including Bank of America and the Berghoff Restaurant were also told to give vendor lists to law enforcement officials and keep their cameras in working order, particularly ones nearby Federal Buildings. Jeff Cramer of Kroll, Inc told the Sun-Times that FPS has “…their work cut out for them. There are a fair amount of federal targets for protesters to make a point with if they wanted.”