Protests are also being held in other cities across the world. They include Baghdad, Basra, New York, Madrid, Rome, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto and Dublin. Organisers said it was the first time there have been co-ordinated demonstrations in the US, Britain and Iraq...
Actions planned include over a dozen morning and early afternoon feeder marches convening at 3PM rally followed by further march at 7PM down Michigan Ave.
Activists have been working on the day's actions for months, with a particular effort on encouraging participation from local neighborhoods. Peace groups from throughout Illinois, as well as Indiana and Wisconsin, have also been mobilizing.
The real prize for many protesters is Michigan Avenue, down which antiwar activists will be allowed to legally march for the first time since March 20, 2003. On that day, Chicago cops arrested more than 800 who initially had police permission to return south on Boul Mich from a CPD-approved march on North Lake Shore Drive to oppose the beginning of the Iraq war.
That mass arrest of peaceful protesters - the largest in the city's history - marked the end of free speech rights for three years on some of Chicago's most prominent traffic corridors. But lawsuits, public hearings and permit application battles over issues of civil liberties and constitutional rights appear to have paid off, and this year the City of Chicago grudgingly granted protesters a permit for the street.
At the time of writting (about 2pm their time) there are between 500 to 1000 people with further marches still joining. Chicago indymedia has been posting updates from the streets and providing a live radio webstream for you to listen to and/or rebroadcast ( http://liveradio.indymedia.org:8000/chicago.ogg.m3u)
1:47PM Humboldt Park march with some 500 people marching on the North side of Division Avenue. Now an Arab-American contingent has joined. It's join with a Beyond Today feeder march at Division and Western.
1:41PM:Northside College Prep march is now past Wellington on Ashland
1:36PMHumboldt park is now continuing to grow. They includ a Filipino contingent, some bikers, Puerto Ricans, and the Palestine solidarity group.
1:33PMReport from Lincoln Park march. Speak out against recruitment at Clybourne and Division. About 35 or so people or so there. Heavy police presence. 2 vans of police and security guards and a paddy wagon.
1:25PM: Palestine contingent has arrived at Humboldt. Good ambience and presence there. Got an excellent dispatch from a Filipino organizer.
1:16PM: Dispatch from UIC rally - about 200 people. UIC Halsted to leave 1:45 north on Halsted to Ashland. Several unmarked police cars. Staying on the periphery
1PM: Logan Square march has merged with Humboldt Park, some 250 people in the merged march. Still anticipating the Palestine contingent.
12:45PM: Evanston rally at Fountain Square. A dispatch reports about 250 people there. Police very helpful.
1PM: Feeder march from Humboldt park, about 50-100 people there, to receive the rally from Logan Square and from the Palestine contingent.
12:37PM: Lincoln Park contingent reports about 40 or so people (and a big puppet) to march to Union Park. An action is anticipated on Clybourn.
12PM: Report from Albany Park: some 20 people in a rally and march down to Lawrence from Kimball.
11:30AM: Logan Square rally reports about 100 people at the rally