Small 'Occupy' protests in Elgin, Aurora
Holding signs like "Break Up Big Banks" and "Stop Government Greed," about 40 people expressed their support for Occupy Wall Street on Saturday in Elgin.
Similar protests took place in cities across the globe, including Aurora and Chicago, supporting the movement that began last month in New York City.
Organizer Sigi Psimenos said she was pleasantly surprised at the turnout in Elgin.
"It is wonderful," she said. "We are all here in support of stopping corporate greed. Some people (are here) for health care, some for the war, some — most — for jobs."
Page Poris of Geneva said she is disillusioned by legislators.
"I really think they are bought and paid for. I never believed that before," she said. "This is about legislators who don't support the job bill and the tax on millionaires. I am really discouraged."
Elgin resident Patrick Cowart, who took part in the protest, said he was surprised to find out about an Occupy march in Elgin.
"Elgin isn't really Wall Street," he joked while standing on the Kimball Street bridge downtown. Several drove by honking their horns.
Robert Thrasher of Elgin hoped participating in the protest would help push for more responsibility from corporations.
"The greed and lack of respect and empathy for people who have to work is just getting intolerable," Thrasher said.
A similar protest called Occupy Aurora also took place Saturday, drawing a small crowd to the corner of Route 59 and Liberty Street near a Bank of American branch.
About 25 people gathered at the peak of the Aurora protest, said organizer Nadia Kanhai of Aurora. Their presence on the corner and marching around the bank was peaceful, without run-ins with police or a security officer outside the bank, Kanhai said.
Protesters in Aurora mainly conveyed concerns about what they see as the country's flawed economic system.
"There is a problem with our economic system," Kanhai said. "It's not that we ever expect it to be perfect, but we want to see a little bit more justice and a little bit more equality in the system."
Daily Herald staff writer Marie Wilson contributed to this report
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