Office buildings and apartment buildings have lone security guards out on the sidewalk--and I wonder if a group of protesters--or anyone else for that matter--stormed their bastilles what they would do.
There are people having dinner out on the sidewalk along South Michigan Avenue like nothing is happening--when what's happening a block away is an almost-riot.
Some of the cops are in full blown riot gear. Some are losing their cool.
"What are you doing?" One shouted at me and my daughter as we approached an enormous police line in the street across Michigan Avenue at Van Buren.
"Just walking home," I told him.
"Look what's going on here," he shouted. "You can't walk home here."
We walked around him and we did walk home on the west side of Michigan and everything was fine.
Some cops look bored and tired. There are more around every corner
. Some are hiding in cars slumped down; you don't notice them until you get real close and realize the door is open and a leg is hanging out.
There are pockets of protests breaking out all over the South Loop
--according to news reports--but you can't see the protesters because the cops have them surrounded. Huge groups of police dressed in riot gear await orders on street corners. CPD Superintendent Garry McCarthy
says herding protesters is like herding cats--and that because the protesters are from out of town, they don't know which way to go on the protest route so the cops explain it to them and push them in the right direction.
The police are taking breaks in the room north of the Hilton entrance, ironically. And there are many stationed across the street in the park--which brings back shades of 1968
. There are barriers in front of the Hilton but everyone is walking through them. One friend I saw eating outside at Oysy
shouted to me that he just saw Hamid Karzai
walk by. The barriers were probably being enforced for him just before we arrived.