Breaking News Bar
updated: 10/10/2011 11:51 PM

Thousands of protesters take to Chicago streets

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • A protester holds up his arm outside The Art Institute of Chicago during a march and rally protesting about a number of issues, including high unemployment, foreclosures and lagging school funding, Monday in Chicago. Marchers from five rally sites in the Loop converged on the Art Institute, where a reception was being held for members of the Futures Industry Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association.

      A protester holds up his arm outside The Art Institute of Chicago during a march and rally protesting about a number of issues, including high unemployment, foreclosures and lagging school funding, Monday in Chicago. Marchers from five rally sites in the Loop converged on the Art Institute, where a reception was being held for members of the Futures Industry Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association.
    Associated Press

  • COURTESY OF ABC7Protestors march in Chicago on Monday evening. Protestors on a range of issues gathered at five locations and convereged at the Art Institute of Chicago.

      COURTESY OF ABC7Protestors march in Chicago on Monday evening. Protestors on a range of issues gathered at five locations and convereged at the Art Institute of Chicago.

  • A protester is arrested Monday outside The Art Institute of Chicago, during a march and rally protesting the financial industry expos in Chicago.

      A protester is arrested Monday outside The Art Institute of Chicago, during a march and rally protesting the financial industry expos in Chicago.
    Associated Press

  • Protesters march toward the Art Institute of Chicago during a protes about a number of issues, including high unemployment, foreclosures and lagging school funding.

      Protesters march toward the Art Institute of Chicago during a protes about a number of issues, including high unemployment, foreclosures and lagging school funding.
    Associated Press

  • Video: ABC 7 video of the protests

 
ABC 7 Chicago

Thousands of protesters marched through downtown Chicago Monday for a big rally focused on the economy and financial sector.

The rallies started at five different locations around the city, eventually converging at the Art Institute on Michigan Avenue, where a reception was set to take place Monday evening for members of the financial futures trading industry. The protesters carried large signs and banners, and many were taken to their locations by yellow school buses.

The protesters are agitating for better education, affordable housing and more jobs.

Organizers expected about 7,500 people to participate in the rallies Monday. By 6 p.m., the crowd had swelled, but an official number of protesters was not available.

"Share the wealth. Plain and simple. Share the wealth. Don't pocket it all. How much money do you need?" said participant Lucio Salamea.

The protest is drawing from a range of groups, from union members and the self-employed to those looking for work.

"I thought I was going to lose my home. I went through the remodification and was blessed to be able to do my own, but there are so many other people who have lost their homes, who's in the process of losing their homes," said participant Lenda Mason, who lost her home health care job a year and a half ago.

One of the gathering points is Jackson and LaSalle, where for more than two weeks a group calling itself "Occupy Chicago" has been demonstrating in front of the Board of Trade and Federal Reserve Bank.

"The diversification of the image that we're going to get out of today is going to be, really, I think, a step forward in dispelling some of the myths that have been going around about this being a fringe movement," said participant Mark Banks.

Members of the Service Employees International Union had gathered in Daley Plaza and embarked on their walk to the Art Institute at about 5 p.m. Monday. An alliance of immigrant groups and organized labor upset about unemployment was on the march from Federal Plaza. Chicago Teachers Union members had gathered at the Chicago Board of Trade as well.

Marchers were also gathering at the Hyatt on East Wacker, site of the Mortgage Bankers Association expo.

"This convention is all about trying to build homeownership for the American public, which is key in our economy," said expo attendee Tom Jones of Philadelphia.

Jones, who said he came to Chicago looking for work, says the protesters are misguided.

"I could easily join them, but instead, I'm being proactive and trying to find a new job to take care of my family and provide them a comfortable living," Jones said.

March organizers say they expect the event to be largely peaceful, but say they are willing to risk arrest by sitting in the street, particularly in the very busy Michigan Avenue shopping district.

Police said they would have officers at all five starting locations as well as on the route to the Art Institute.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here