As Michelle Obama dined inside, hundreds of protesters rally outside Art Institute
BY MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporter email@example.com May 20, 2012 9:32PM
Rain falls on Taylor (who would not provide her last name) as she and others protest outside the Art Institute on Sunday night. | Jon Seidel~Sun-Times
Updated: May 21, 2012 7:54AM
Hours after bloody clashes with police broke out in the South Loop, several hundred protesters returned to the Loop Sunday night — and ended up camped in front of the Art Institute where Michelle Obama and world leaders were gathered.
The protesters passed the Art Institute at least twice, and around 9 p.m. sat down in the middle of Michigan Avenue.
At least one demonstrator wanted to deliver a message to the leaders inside that “corporations are not people,” he said, declining to give his name.
Several plastic bottles were thrown toward police, while others danced in the streets — some sporting hula hoops that lit up.
When it began to rain after 9:30 p.m., some left — but many actually appeared more energized and continued to dance.
“This is what Democracy looks like,” they chanted.
While the marchers wanted the leaders to hear them, they made no attempt to get inside.
That was a good thing — because plenty of police in riot gear lined up in front of the building. The police had batons out and appeared ready to take action if necessary.
But there were some clashes earlier Sunday night.
At Wabash and Van Buren, a group of parked police bikes were knocked over. A skirmish ensued, and police in riot gear with batons could be seen clubbing some protesters.
At least one man was arrested after he was surrounded by a dozen cops.
That skirmish split up the protesters. One group headed south on Wabash, while another went North.
Hundreds ended up back in front of the Art Institute.
Later, the crowd headed North on State and scuffled with police as they attempted to cross the Chicago River. Hundreds of cops pushed them back, and clubbed some protesters, and the group then turned West on Lake Street and then headed North on Canal.
After 11 p.m., the protesters said they where heading to the lock-up where arrested protesters were housed at Belmont and Western. On the way, three protesters were arrested along Milwaukee Avenue near Kinzie.
Contributing: Jon Seidel