This week is all about Facebook IPO and the NATO Summit here in Chicago. Finally, Facebook IPO is today and NATO Summit is right ahead (only a day left).
I have already heard some helicopters on top of us and seen more police patrols on their bikes. Besides the anticipated intense traffic, there will be 3000 journalists, an influx of 10,000 summit-goers, along with untold numbers of protesters from all over the country.
It’s a mixed feeling to have such an international event happening here in Chicago. People in the world are finally having their eyes on Chicago. Will they be able to know how beautiful Chicago is with our lakeshore, architecture, arts, food, etc.?
By holding this NATO event, the City of Chicago expects to see $120million in revenue. Will it offset the loss/expenses we have on the security, businesses closures, etc.? Hopefully, it will.
With the NATO Summit beginning tomorrow, traffic delays may not be the only headache Chicagoans should expect. According to the Sun Times, security experts are warning your electronic devices may be targeted by hackers.
Residents “laptop and smartphone may be targeted by attackers or borrowed by free-loaders.In addition, Internet, wireless voice and even electrical outages are possible, and workers and residents should back up their devices.”
Protesters are flooding into the city by the thousands, with social unrest beginning over the social media networks and cyberspace.
Protests have already started outside President Obama’s campaigning headquarters, as well as throughout downtown.
One of the building management companies in downtown has this note posted:
Protesters have gathered along Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue. Arrests have been made and we advise for all customers to avoid this area. If you need to leave the property, please do not use the Wacker Drive Garage Exit. We will continue to update you as we have more information.”
There is even a “NATO Survival Guide” with details outlining the organized protests.
Despite the dangers, it still leaves us with the feeling that getting this event is like a consolation prize from losing the host of the 2012 Summer Olympics. It’s good to be optimistic sometimes. We just hope that nothing traumatic/dramatic will happen. We hope there’ll be positive long term effects too – Chicago is a lovely city to visit!