Sunday, May 19

Democrats worried whether Chicago authorities can keep the peace as rowdy protests expected: report

A new column from Politico Magazine claimed that the Democratic National Committee is dealing with several difficult issues related to its upcoming 2024 convention in Chicago as the party ponders potential anti-Israel protests and other possible outbursts. 

The piece mentioned the predicament that the DNC is in as its donors expect an in-person event, though the committee fears that potential protests could make an embarrassing spectacle out of one. It also detailed how the Democratic Party leadership is somewhat worried that Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson may be sympathetic to the protesters. 

“So, with campus protests over the war in Gaza raging and Biden being disrupted nearly everywhere he goes, Chicago’s organizers are plotting on how to preempt opportunities for heckling and quickly tamp down demonstrators who do get into the arena,” Politico senior political columnist Jonathan Martin wrote on Friday.

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One convention planner told the journalist, “If there is one peep in that hall, the networks will be all over it.”

As Martin pointed out in the piece, raucous protesters have demonstrated at many of President Biden’s public events, calling out the president for his support for Israel.

“What alarms some Democratic strategists is the evolution of this era’s protests. Protesters are savvier — they’ve managed to get inside dozens of events featuring the president and vice president — and their demonstrations also include some bad actors who are determined to provoke a reaction,” he added.

Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle declared to Politico that the party will “work together to make it a success,” but expressed some trepidation at potential disruption. 

“The challenge, of course, is when people decide that expressing their opinion involves impeding other people’s ability to go to work, or go to school or acts of vandalism,” she added. 

What’s more, is that the party is supposedly worried that the mayor is sympathetic to protesters, the column reported. It stated, “There’s already a joke going around Democratic strategist circles that the main difference between 2024 and 1968 is that the Chicago mayor this year will be on the side of the protesters, not the cops.”

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Martin pointed out Johnson’s history of progressive political activism and how he recently told reporters asking him about security at the convention that he “understands the value of protest and demonstration.”

“Without protests and real demands of a government, people of color and women do not have a place in society,” he said at the time. 

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Martin also mentioned how Johnson seemed “detached” when talking about a protest at a Chicago art museum needing a police response, and noted that he did not “mention Joe Biden or the importance of the convention in helping the president’s reelection” when talking to Politico about the upcoming event. 

The journalist described that interaction as an “eye-opening exchange” which “made clear why so many Democrats, in Chicago and beyond, respond to questions about Johnson with a sigh and hope that he’ll recognize the weight of this moment.”

The column also pointed out that the mayor and Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s, D-Ill., “strained relationship” as a bad omen for the convention. 

“They’ve disagreed on issues from immigration to a new, subsidized stadium for the Chicago Bears,” Martin wrote, noting that this tension will be “exacerbating matters” ahead of the convention. 

Compounding the negative outlook surrounding Chicago leadership, the columnist stated, “The best Democrats could say about the Johnson-Pritzker dynamic was that, well, at least it’s not as bad as the Andrew Cuomo-Bill de Blasio relationship in New York.”

The DNC and Chicago mayor’s office did not immediately reply to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 

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