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25 Arrested After Noisy Demonstration Blocked Traffic

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A man is arrested at a demonstration outside the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.  (Credit: CBS)

A man is arrested at a demonstration outside the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. (Credit: CBS)

roberts250 Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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CHICAGO (WBBM) — Twenty-five people were arrested for blocking traffic briefly on Wacker Drive, during a noisy demonstration outside of an executives’ summit at a downtown hotel. WBBM’s Bob Roberts was there.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts Reports

A police lieutenant at the scene said those arrested were cited for blocking traffic on Upper Wacker at Stetson.

All were booked and released. Others in the crowd of more than 1,000 chanted, “Let them go,” as they were led away in handcuffs.

They protested outside of a meeting at the Hyatt Regency Chicago hotel, sponsored by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, at which senior business executives shared practices and developed leadership skills. Chief financial officers and other senior officials from a number of large firms were represented.

The protesters wanted them to focus instead on creating jobs and reinvesting in the community, small businesses and Chicago’s public schools.

“They are breaking all their promises,” said protester Maria Hernandez, who said she marched because her 18-year-old son is unable to find a job. “They said they were going to give us jobs for the community and their not keeping their promise. They’re getting richer and we’re not.”

The marchers gathered in Daley Plaza, at the Thompson Center plaza and on Cityfront Plaza, outside of the University of Chicago Gleicher Center. From those locations, they marched to the Hyatt. The marchers then headed south on Stetson and concluded their protest outside of the Aon Center and Prudential Plaza.

The group “Stand Up, Chicago” organized the protest. Eighteen community groups, advocacy groups and unions were listed on the letterhead, and those who protested appeared to be a varied lot that included teachers, advocates for the homeless, anti-war activists, members of several unions and even the Communist Party, USA.

Officials from Motorola, McDonald’s, Ernst and Young, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, Hyatt Hotels, IBM, and CDW were among those speaking at the summit.

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