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NATO worried about demonstrators in Chicago

Demonstrators in Chicago worry NATODemonstrators decided to start the week with more protests in Chicago.  The protests are against allowing a Boeing headquarters building from being used as a detention facility for illegal immigrants.  NATO hosted a weeklong summit, which ends on today.  The international meeting has gained numerous protestors, though the weekend protests were smaller.  Boeing has announced a variety of different business relocation choices for this coming year.  It is closing a Wichita center and sending the military moving in terms of its contracts for military planes.  The military planes will be worked on in San Antonio, with some of the business moving to Washington State and another section of regular plane needs to Oklahoma.

The protests in Chicago are very different though, since the headquarters for the company will be moving out.  It will take millions of dollars from the state.  Those that are demonstrating against Boeing are against the military hardware the company creates for the US and NATO allies.  Illinois has offered other businesses tax incentives to move into the state, but these incentives are not part of a Boeing offer.  The protests are being seen as a symbolic idea, since Boeing is a defense contractor that makes bombs, fighter jets and missiles.  The headquarters, of course, are just a small portion of the actual business that Boeing does.  Illinois does not even have the highest amount of employed Boeing workers, coming in at the eighth ranking.  Boeing has more than 170,000 workers throughout the US and 70 other countries, so the portion in Illinois is small compared to those spread throughout the world.

It will be a difficult loss for Illinois, with some workers being relocated and others having to stay behind.  Still, the protests are about more than just the company.  It is about the use of the old facility being used for illegal immigrants that will be sent back home or possibly detained longer while the military and state decide what to do with them.  The military is in part responsible as it is being used for a secondary line of workers to combat the problem the US has lately with illegal immigrants.  To a small degree illegal immigration numbers are down since the economic crisis, but there are still many who are here without following proper procedure.

NATO and the summit has been a target of much unhappiness with regards to US policies and certain changes.  Boeing is just a portion of what is making people unhappy, especially in Illinois and Kansas.  NATO is meeting for more reasons that just the US issues, of course.  The summit is one that happens every year; NATO gathers together to talk about world issues that can have an impact on military moving through different countries for protection or to solve some policy issues between allies that might make the current financial situations better for countries.  Tuesday, as the last day for the summit, will hopefully mean an end to the protestors too.

Lance Grooms

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