Thousands of protesters marched through downtown Chicago on Sunday in one of the city's largest demonstrations in years, airing grievances about war, climate change and a range of other complaints as world leaders assembled for a NATO summit.
The protest was largely peaceful until the end, when a small group of demonstrators clashed with a line of police who tried to keep them from the lakeside convention center hosting the summit.
Police said 45 people were arrested and four officers were injured, one stabbed in the leg. Those numbers were likely to rise after clashes resumed later in the night.
Meredith Aby of the Anti-War Committee traveled to Chicago from Minnesota to join the protest. "The people of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria and Iran should not be in the cross hairs of NATO," Aby said. "NATO should not get to decide whether the people of the world die or suffer under occupation. From Afghanistan to the Middle East, we demand justice, we demand peace."
Hackers brought down the city of Chicago home page for several hours. The page, cityofchicago.org, was down from midmorning until early afternoon after a group, whose members are unknown, posted a YouTube video claiming it was "actively engaged in actions against the Chicago Police Department" because of how police were treating protesters. A related effort to bring down NATO's international site failed, one source said.
Prosecutors charged two more activists Sunday with crimes tied to the two-day NATO summit, accusing one of saying he wanted to blow up a downtown Chicago bridge and a second with seeking to build pipe bombs.
The Cook County state's attorney's office charged Sebastian Senakiewicz, 24, of Chicago with falsely making a terrorist threat. Mark Neiweem, 28, of Chicago is charged with attempted possession of explosives or incendiary devices.
Prosecutors told a judge that Senakiewicz, a native of Poland, said he could blow up a bridge in downtown Chicago. They accused him of bragging repeatedly about having explosives and said he claimed to have hidden them in a hollowed out Harry Potter book. Prosecutors said searches did not uncover explosives.
Prosecutors said Neiweem wanted to build a pipe bomb and wrote a list of ingredients.
The charges came a day after three other activists were accused of manufacturing Molotov cocktails and harboring plans to attack President Obama's campaign headquarters and other targets during the NATO meeting.