Chicago backs off tough measures for world summits

By the Associated Press | January 17, 2012 | 4:30 PM EST

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has backed off on a proposal to increase by hundreds of dollars fines for anyone who resists arrest during two upcoming summits of international leaders.

That wipes away a contentious issue among protesters' concerns that the city was intent on squashing their right to protest.

The decision was announced Tuesday as the City Council began dealing with how to balance security with free expression during the G-8 and NATO summits in May.

A mayor's spokeswoman said the changes are the result of concerns raised by aldermen, activists and community groups. The resisting-arrest fines will remain between $25 and $500, rather than increase to $200 to $1,000.

Similar summits have drawn massive protests elsewhere, and the meetings are widely seen as a test for Emanuel.