Dozens of anti-war veterans on Sunday threw their medals into a street near the site of the Chicago Summit 2012 to show their resentment of war and preference for human life.
While the NATO summit was underway, dozens of war veterans and thousands of protesters gathered in Chicago to protest against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The protests were held in order to call to attention the uselessness of war and propagation of peace. The war veterans were generally showing their regret for having fought uncalled for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The protesters called the medals they got for their service as "representations of hate," "lies" and "cheap tokens," and then they tossed their medals into the street. Most of the people present there were also making emotional pleas for forgiveness from the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.
A lot of people in the protest were dressed in military attire and chanted through the streets, calling out, "N-A-T-O, NATO has got to go," and “No NATO, no war, we don't work for you no more."
According to details, around 2,000 protesters were present at the march, which covered a 2.5 mile distance. Initially, it was speculated that around 10,000 people would attend the march, but the number came down to only 2,000. Some of the people had provisions, while others carried other essentials like batons and sprays, in case things got worse.
During the course of the protest, the protesters retired an American flag and carried it through the streets before giving it to a woman whose soldier son committed suicide due to the pressures of the war. This protest of the Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans was reminiscent of the Vietnam war veterans' protest, which took place in 1971. Around 900 Vietnam war veterans took part in that protest.
Also present in the veterans' protest were members of the Afghans for Peace, standing alongside the veterans and holding the Afghan flag. Many members of the group also made speeches during the protest.
“All we have is this flag, but not our sovereign land. I’d like to direct my message to the NATO representatives here in Chicago today. For what you’ve done to my home country, I’m enraged; for what you’ve done to my people, I’m disgusted; for what you’ve done to these veterans, I’m heartbroken,” said Suraia Sahar, according to a report on msnbc.com. “I sympathize with their disappointment and being failed by the system and having their lives, their morals and humanity, toiled with.”
The veterans' protest ended with some clashes with the police, but overall the protest was peaceful.