Protesters Gather Outside NATO Summit in Downtown Chicago

By Daniela Salvador

May 21, 2012 Updated May 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM EDT

Chicago (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - President Obama said Monday world leaders are committed to ending the war in Afghanistan by 2014 and supporting the Afghans beyond that.

“Our nation and the world have vital interest in the success of this mission,” said Obama.

Monday NATO leaders were considering a plan to put Afghan forces in control of security starting next year so the U.S. and NATO forces can move into a supporting role.

“This will be another step for Afghans taken the full role,” said Obama.

However, the optimism of the president and other NATO leaders was tempered by the harsh reality offered up by military leaders about this transition period.

“It doesn't mean that we won't be fighting. It doesn't mean that there won't be combat,” said General John Allen.

As the leaders meet thousands of anti-war protesters have taken to the streets of downtown Chicago.

“The people are sick of war,” said a protester. “We want money for education, for housing, for jobs.”

Most of the demonstrations over the weekend were peaceful.

However, late on Sunday violent clashes erupted between police and hundreds of protesters.

Some used make shift weapons to try and push their way through a security perimeter near the convention center where President Obama and world leaders were gathered.

Police say one officer was stabbed three others were injured in the commotion. Nearly 50 protesters have been detained or arrested.

Police say most of those arrested were released Monday morning.

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