RSS FeedFacebookSearch
Gary Younge
'It's a historic event. If they want to be there, they should'

Chicago is bracing itself for a huge and possibly chaotic street party as more than a million people are expected to descend on the city centre tonight in anticipation of a victory for Democratic presidential hopeful, Barack Obama.

Obama, who lives in the city, has planned a public party in Grant Park which is in the downtown area. The campaign issued more than 70,000 tickets for the event but they were sold out in a matter of hours. Nonetheless, huge numbers are expected to come into the city anyway, prompting a security clampdown, concern about public safety and some businesses to send employees home early.

"It's going to be surprising," mayor Richard Daley told the Chicago Tribune. "There are going to be a lot of people who want to come down to celebrate. We hope it's a million or more - that's realistic. It's going to be wonderful. Only the private event is ticket[ed]. You can be in the park and around it ... You think I'm nuts? You think I'm not going to invite people down? The mayor's not going to tell anybody not to come to this celebration. It's a historic event. If they want to be there, they should."

Republican contender John McCain is scheduled to hold a far more low-key affair in his home state of Arizona at the Biltmore resort and spa, where he's expected to address roughly 2,000 people.

The scale of Obama's event in Chicago is causing a logistical nightmare for the local law enforcement. Last Friday police superintendent Jody Weis warned: "We can't have foolishness. We can't have mischief."

Last week helicopters flew low over Hutchinson Field, the part of Grant Park where the rally will take place, while police scoured rooftops on downtown buildings. All Chicago police officers have had leave cancelled for the night and firefighters have been asked to have their personal equipment handy at home.

"We expect a good, supportive crowd, and we expect it to be a happy occasion," Obama's campaign manager, David Axelrod, said. "Whatever the result, we don't expect trouble."

Even the coastguard will patrol in Burnham Harbor and on Lake Michigan, which borders the park. With traffic expected to be snarled and parking banned in large areas of the city, the decision to stage an event of this scale has proved controversial. A Chicago Tribune website poll asking whether the rally is a good idea showed the city split, with 52% in favour and 48% opposed.

McCain's operatives have ridiculed Obama's event as typically ostentatious and self-aggrandising. "I don't know if he is planning another Berlin moment, but we're having what will be a great victory night celebration with a lot of supporters," said campaign spokesman Brian Rogers, referring to the throngs that turned up to greet Obama in when he visited Europe in July.

© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc
The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream
book review
“The speech is profoundly and willfully misunderstood,” says King’s longtime friend Vincent Harding.
 follow on twitter
RT @MCRSociology: Gary Younge discusses identity politics and America with Will Hutton in this episode of @thewesocietypod https://t.co/72…
RT @mart_welton: Congratulations to all those getting their A-level results today. If you have BBB at A-level or above you can still apply…
RT @BernardineEvari: Please follow the groundbreaking online #MuseumofColour UK, founded by the unstoppable Samenua Sesher. The 1st gallery…
RT @EthnicityUK: Gary Younge is interviewed by @sonikkalogan about his work on racism and gun violence in @the_hindu #DataPoint podcast. h…
RT @thefreedomi: 🚨 NEW: Saudi women’s rights activist & academic Salma al-Shehab was sentenced to 34 years in prison + 34 year travel ban f…
RT @LRB: #DawnFosterForever! On Thursday 15 September at the @LRBbookshop, @BizK1, @piercepenniless, Lynsey Hanley and @garyyounge will d…
RT @ShowunmiV: This is how we support Black women and girls https://t.co/8YmgV21zHo
RT @sonikkalogan: It's #DataPoint Pod Thursday! In this week's episode, I talk to @noraneus, @garyyounge and @Casey_J_Wooten about the U.S.…
RT @bgnoiseuk: Next month, @LRBbookshop will host an event to celebrate the life and work of Dawn Foster with @BizK1, @piercepenniless, Lyn…
Help me Twitter. The quote: ""You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming." is most commonly… https://t.co/Xs7JkiOEd5
© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc
Avodart online canadian pharmacy Cheap prednisone Generic vibramycin online for sale Buy sildenafil generic online Can you take bactrim and levaquin together Can i get cleocin over the counter Using jardiance and janumet together Cheap generic lotensin Generic furosemide cost Cost of crestor at walmart