Chicago, IL - On Oct. 10, Chicago kicked off two large conventions, one for the Mortgage Bankers Association and the other for the Futures Options trading association - both groups that represent the rich who caused the latest recession. In the spirit of fighting back, Chicagoans, more than 7000 strong took to the streets and tied downtown up for four hours.
Starting at 4:00 p.m., five demonstrations stepped off from their starting points in Chicago. A coalition of unions and community groups - from homeless organizing to neighborhood associations under the umbrella of Take Back Chicago - mobilized to take the streets. They all headed towards one place to stop a banker’s wine and cheese event. All five street marches would end up on Monroe Avenue in front of the Art Institute, where 30 protesters sat in front of the doors until arrested.
“TIF money is tax money that is supposed to be used for neighborhoods that need help. Daley and now Emmanuel give TIF money to rich people when our schools face cuts, workers face layoffs and our city is suffering. We have had enough, we are gonna keep coming out until we get justice,” said one community activist.
Teachers came from Englewood, Steelworkers came from Gary, Indiana, homecare workers from Matteson, housing activists from Albany Park, musicians from Pilsen, janitors that clean downtown buildings -workers from across the Chicagoland area came out in large numbers.
People from Occupy Chicago joined the high-spirited street marches. The message was clear. People want jobs, homes and schools; banksters who broke the economy must be accountable for their deeds. Unlike the corporate media lies, the protesters had a very clear set of demands and had no problem telling their story.
“My neighborhood is full of houses where families used to live. The banks own them now. It ain’t right that these fat cats get away without paying taxes and my neighbors get thrown out of their house. That is why I am here” said Alma Johnson, a Chicago resident. “It is hard out here with too many with no job, nothing to look forward too. We have to do this, our lives depend on it.”
Actions will take place throughout the week in Chicago targeting banks and other corporate fat cats.