02:11 - Source: CNN
Protecting free speech at NATO protests

The NATO summit in Chicago attracted more than international officials; thousands of protesters, some peaceful, some less-so, rallied on Sunday with banners reading “War = Debt” and chants of “hey hey, ho ho, NATO has got to go,” in an anti-NATO, anti-war demonstration.

The protestors encouraged participants to tweet hashtags such as #SolidarityWithChicago and #F***NATO to trend the topics and attract more attention to the cause.

After two days of protesting, the demonstrations turned violent yesterday. More than 45 people were arrested in the chaos, and a few law enforcement officers were injured as well.

Despite the riotous nature of the protests, Lieutenant Governor of Illinois Sheila Simon describes the protests as “organized” and tells Soledad that they are a “really effective use of democracy where we have to tolerate and appreciate all opinions.”

“The strategy has been all along to work with all the different law enforcement agencies in concert,” Simon explains, “and I think for the most part they’ve been doing a fantastic job of making sure people are protected and that free speech rights are protected as well. It’s a tough balance to get, but I think they’re doing a good job.”