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G8 Summit Chicago 2012

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38th G8 Summit:

The 38th G8 summit will take place in Chicago in 2012, the first U.S. location for the event since 2004.

Where:

McCormick Place Convention Center
2301 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60616

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Hotels Near McCormick Place

When:

Protests at G8 Summit Chicago:

The annual G8 summit routinely attract a large number of protesters, and Chicago is expected to be no different. Groups associated with the Chicago arm of the Occupy Wall Street movement have already applied for permits, and the organization of protests will be aided with the ever increasing use of social media.

Security at the G8 Summit 2012:

When over 2,000 foreign dignitaries converge on one city, it's no surprise that security levels in Chicago will be extremely high during the summit. The United States Secret Service will work with the Chicago Police Department to provide security during the event, which will include escorted motorcades. Transportation to and from Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports will result in numerous rolling street closures -- as many as 50 per day. Chicago public transportation will be the best way to avoid the major traffic snarls this will cause.

Participating G8 Summit Countries:

The core participants of the 2012 summit are:

Canada
France
Germany
Italy
Japan
Russia
United Kingdom
United States of America
European Union

Leaders from other countries with emerging market economies such as Brazil, China, India and Mexico are also invited, as well as representatives from international organizations like the World Trade Organization, the United Nations, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization.

About the 38th G8 Summit 2012 in Chicago:

The Group of Eight was created in 1975 to allow the heads of the governments of the world's largest economies to convene and discuss global issues such as energy, food security, health, terrorism and the environment. Leaders and their representatives meet each year for an annual summit, with the location rotating through the group countries. The last time the G8 summit was held in the United States was in 2004, at Sea Island, Georgia.

Chicago's current mayor Rahm Emanuel lobbied the White House to be the host city for the summit in 2012, and as Emanuel was the former chief-of-staff to President Barack Obama -- as well as Chicago being Obama's current home town -- the city was named the official location for the summit in June, 2011.

Besides G8, Chicago will also be hosting the NATO summit during the same period, the first time both summits have been held in the same city since 1977, when they took place in London. The security logistics of having so many of the world's powerful leaders in one place at the same time is being called "a security challenge that no American city has ever had to face."

Controversy at the G8 Summit

The confluence of major economic super powers each year draws large numbers of "anti-globalist" protests and demonstrations, and the combined G8 and NATO summits in 2012 has security experts expecting activists descending on Chicago by the tens of thousands. Almost 50 activist groups met in Chicago in August to start planning "large-scale protests" during the summits. Members of Occupy Chicago, a local off-shoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement, has also applied for protest permits during the summits. Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has stated that his department is already preparing for "mass arrests."

Hotel Challenges for the G8 Summit

It's currently estimated that attendees of the G8 and NATO summits will take up over 10,000 hotel rooms -- almost a third of Chicago's entire downtown hotel inventory. This will create a tremendous strain on travelers coming to Chicago during the summits to find vacant rooms, and if travel plans cannot be changed it is extremely important to confirm a Chicago hotel reservation as early as possible. Hotel guests should also be aware that due to security concerns movement within some of the city's hotels may be limited at certain times. Hotels are also likely to charge premium rates during this week.

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