Police Arrest 11 In Rush-Hour Protest In The Loop

CHICAGO (WBBM) — Eleven protesters were arrested when they blocked a busy Loop street at the height of the Friday evening rush hour.

All were charged with disorderly conduct.

Those arrested were part of a protest outside the James R. Thompson Center against budget cuts approved by the U.S. House, WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports

On the Thompson Center plaza, Michelle Young of the group Action Now was telling protesters that thousands of Illinois families cannot afford to lose federal assistance in paying their heating bills through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP.

“They want to take almost $2 billion from the LIHEAP program,” she said.  “This may sound like a lot of money but when you look at the entire budget of the United States, it’s more like pennies.”  

As Young spoke, a group broke away from the back of the ground and blocked the crosswalk on Clark Street at Randolph and stayed put for 20 minutes until police began to lead them away in handcuffs.  One of those arrested was in a wheelchair.

Others chanted, and a small band played at the corner of Clark and Randolph as police tried to reopen Clark Street. 

“The cuts to working families, low-income families and elderly are unacceptable when there’s plenty of room in the budget for tax cuts for the rich and for defense spending,” said protester Sara Mathers, of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization, as she watched the arrests. 

The protest quickly broke up once Clark was reopened, shortly after 5:30 p.m., but many of the protesters chanted, saying, “We’ll be back,” as they left.

  • one of many who will fight for workers rights

    This is just the tip of the iceberg,fascists!

  • Nicholas Newgarden

    Uh–they need to do this on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C..

  • erik

    God Bless them.
    Hopefully, the C.P.D. treated them with dignity.

    • http://radicalisrelative.wordpress.com radicalisrelative

      they did! we were mindful that class privilege did play a big role in that though

  • Thomas Burke

    And why should I pay for your heating bill? Are we in Socialist country? It was a handout given, now the country cant afford it so they are taking it back. Didnt you do that samething with your charitable donations

    • Darlene

      Decades ago the City of Chicago had a program called iHeap. It was shut down due to the massive fraud (I’m as surprised as you are to hear this).

      Instead of sending the money directly to the gas company, the city sent the money to the individual in their name so it was like a gift from Santa every month and the [lucky] recipients spent it on whatever….not the gas bill. I’m still shocked.

      What a mess that was.

      • Jesse Jackson jr jr

        Hi Darlene ,
        Yes , the money should be sent direct to the gas company !
        even ray Charles can see that !
        Protesters cannot shut down the city also !
        remember the immigrant march ?
        They should have arrested 50 percent of them !
        Maybe Dum@$$ Nontaxpaying or real estate paying Carol Mosley
        willstart to help the black community ?

    • http://radicalisrelative.wordpress.com radicalisrelative

      We do have “evil socialist” programs like social security, medicare. Social security and liheap are designed so that the most vulnerable people in the richest country in the world won’t die of things like starvation or freezing to death. Believe me – the poor aren’t having 90 degree hot tub parties in their apartment and lighting their cigars with $20s. But the top 1% might be after the additional tax cut we gave em, despite the fact that they pay less % tax than their secretaries because of the loophole when paying someone with stock(15% cap gains on infinite $ made) instead of a check.

  • Hortense

    Typical “activists,” too dumb to know the Thompson Center is a state building, not a federal building.

    • Tax cuts for the rich = service cuts for the rest of us

      Hey there,
      Have you seen Federal Plaza? Covered in construction. I’m sure they would have rather gathered right outside the Senators’ offices but space constraints made that impossible.

      It seems like the question the protestors were posing yesterday, and the question we all need to ask ourselves, is who does our government serve anyway? If you’ve been following the budget negotiations, you know the deepest cuts are getting made to the programs that really serve all of us, urban and rural alike. Agriculture, rural development the FDA, the EPA, housing, health and human services, and education.

      And why are these cuts needed? We will lose $36 billion in revenue just this year because the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans (those making $200,000 or more each year) were extended. Now just a few months later, Congress is saying it needs to slash spending on the programs that benefit all of us.

      It doesn’t add up. Where are our Senators on this?
      Senator Durbin at least sent staff to the teach-in about the budget cuts the activists organized immediately prior to the rally. They say Senator Kirk’s office committed to send a representative, but he never even showed. Kirk has billed himself as a moderate, but if he doesn’t take a stance against program cuts for everyday people, that label is going to be hard to defend.

    • Barack

      Sorry, wrong address.

    • http://radicalisrelative.wordpress.com radicalisrelative

      Federal plaza is under construction – no room for HUNDREDS of protesters

  • Tanya Livingston

    Stop having children. You are poor because you made poor choces. Even the most successful people in this country didn’t start at $20.00/Hr. Stop drinking, smoking, drugs, loose weight, go to school….get some goals and some self respect

  • Kelsey Binau

    Yes Ms. Livingston, people are poor because they are lazy, corrupt morally, and have sex all the time. It can’t have ANYTHING to do with structural inequality, racism, discrimination, or economic gaps. Think about how you got to where you are today, and realize that not everyone has the same opportunities, positive role models, and assistance that you did. No one reaches success alone. And more importantly, not everyone starts out on equal footing. Open your mind a bit and stop stereotyping people you’ve never met.

    • Henry

      @Kelsey I agree with your first sentence.But not the rest.Our system doesn’t discriminate.Read the constitution.There is no conspiracy against the black man.It’s all in your head!!

      • http://radicalisrelative.wordpress.com radicalisrelative

        you’re blind. read Boss by Royko to read about it.

  • Zarathrusta

    I wish someone smarter than me would write a real biography on Royko. Start with his kid and all the time Dad spent in the bars.

    • http://radicalisrelative.wordpress.com radicalisrelative

      so because a man may or may not spent time at the bars, his critically acclaimed account of Daley and his iron fisted rule of Chicago is entirely negated?

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