Protesters Flood Loop To ‘Take Back Chicago’

Updated 10/10/11 – 10:00 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Thousands of protesters flooded downtown Chicago at five different locations Monday to participate in simultaneous marches to “Take Back Chicago.”

At least one arrest was reported and several participants were ticketed, police said, but overall the demonstrations were orderly.

As CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports, the Take Back Chicago protest was organized by the Chicago Teachers Union, labor groups and other organizations.

They marched with demonstrators involved with the Occupy Chicago movement, which has been camped out in the financial district along LaSalle Street for more than two weeks to protest what they call corporate greed.

The march targeted two banking conferences that are now in town – the Mortgage Bankers Association Convention and Expo and the Futures and Options Expo. The groups converged at the hotels where conventioneers are staying and other strategic locations.

Demonstrators began gathering at five different locations downtown and staged simultaneous marches, culminating in a demonstration on Michigan Avenue outside the Art Institute of Chicago, where members of the futures industry were arriving for an event.

Russell Stern, CEO of Solarflare Communications, disagreed with protestors’ anti-business message. 

“These corporations are what employ people,” he told CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov. “Growing the business is a priority. And you can’t really grow the business without adding people.”

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding Reports

A lot of these people were looking for solutions to unemployment and the housing crisis, as well as looking for better education for our kids.

As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, for nearly three weeks, the calls of “Occupy Chicago” protesters have voiced their outrage over bank bailouts and so-called corporate greed – a message that resonated with Chicago-Kent law student Dan Massoglia, who is looking at an uncertain financial future.

“Did I ever see myself being here? It’s like, no – you didn’t see the civil rights movements coming for the most part … but now we have another civil rights movement, an economic civil rights movement,” he said.

In a West Side warehouse, where protestors were preparing Monday afternoon to speak out against a widening class gap, you could unexpected activists.

North Sid resident Amrita Dayal said, “Oh, I never imagined that I’m going to be marching today in a protest.”

Dayal is a 60-something mother who has seen her educated children lose their home to foreclosure.

“I could think it would happen in India or third world countries, but it would happen in America? In my lifetime, I would have never imagined,” Dayal said.

West Rogers Park resident Beth Lanford said, “This is so radical, to go out and be protesting.”

Lanford has a job as a project manager, but the hardships her friends and family have been living through have her marching as well.

“I was brought up that each generation would do better and better and the middle class – if you worked, you went to school, you got an education – things would just be good. But it’s not happening in that way,” Lanford said.

Building on the momentum of the “Occupy Wall Street” protest in New York City, activists at National Poeple’s Action reported more interest in their cause. Their more than 5,100 likes on Facebook have increased by 1,000 over the past three weeks.

“Now we see, you know, even more people coming out of the woodwork, because we have hit a crisis point,” National People’s Action spokesman Jordan Estevao said.

South Side resident and union member Lenda Mason said, “I know what it’s like to think you’re not going to have a job and you have to pay mortgage.”

Mason, a health care worker, is among those taking to the street, finding this new movement is reinvigorating their rank and file.

“It’s the job of government to help us out. They helped the big banks out, why can’t they help us little people out?” Mason asked.

The groups that organized Monday’s protests believe jobs, homes and schools have been taken by big banks and corporations that have wrecked the economy.

They are demanding that Congress raise revenue from Wall Street and those who run it.

The “Occupy Chicago” protesters were one of the first protest groups inspired by the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters to come up with a list of formal goals. According to the group’s website, their list includes:

1. PASS HR 1489 REINSTATING GLASS-STEAGALL. – A depression era safeguard that separated the commercial lending and investment banking portions of banks. Its repeal in 1999 is considered the major cause of the global financial meltdown of 2008-2009.


3. FULLY INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE THE WALL STREET CRIMINALS who clearly broke the law and helped cause the 2008 financial crisis.

4. OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED v. US. – A 2010 Supreme Court Decision which ruled that money is speech. Corporations, as legal persons, are now allowed to contribute unlimited amounts of money to campaigns in the exercise of free “speech.”






10. INSIST THE FEC STAND UP FOR THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN REGULATING PRIVATE USE OF PUBLIC AIRWAVES to help ensure that political candidates ARE GIVEN EQUAL TIME for free at reasonable intervals during campaign season.


12. FORGIVE STUDENT DEBT – The same institutions that gave almost $2T in bailouts and then extended $16T of loans at little to no interest for banks can surely afford to forgive the $946B of student debt currently held. Not only does this favor the 99% over the 1%, it has the practical effect of more citizens spending money on actual goods, not paying down interest.

The Teachers Union will lead the march from the Board of Trade, accompanied by a marching band. They are protesting, as stated in a news release, “politically connected developers, pseudo school reformers and people who want to destroy public education in Chicago.”

The protest beginning at the Hilton will be led by college students and activists from the group MoveOn. A marching band and puppets will accompany the protest.

The groups began marching to the Art Institute of Chicago, at Adams Street at Michigan Avenue, at about 4:45 p.m. to converge for a single mass rally. Take Back Chicago expects 7,500 people to attend the marches.

About 20 members of a group called National People’s Action came out for the protest on kayaks and dressed like Robin Hood. They kayaked down the Chicago River before unfurling a banner on the Michigan Avenue bridge that read “Wall Street Takes From The 99%, Gives To The Rich. Take It Back!”

“We are the 99 percent” has been a frequent chant of the “Occupy Chicago” and “Occupy Wall Street” protesters – a reference to middle-class and low-income Americans.

“The majority of people who have paid for the banks – for the downfall of this economy – are the taxpayers. The middle-class, the low-income – we are the 99 percent,” said Jessica Vasquez, a member of National People’s Action. “The one percent of mortgage bankers who are reaping all the money from faulty mortgages, horrible robo-deals – we are the ones who are paying for all their corruption.”

Mortgage banker Jack Thompson said, “I understand their frustration. It’s tough on a lot of families. Unfortunately, it’s a process that we have to go through to clean it up and the process is being drug out.”

Thompson was in town for the Mortgage Bankers Association annual convention at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, where one of five groups of protesters gathered Monday afternoon. Thompson and several other bankers listened in on what protestors had to say.

An older teacher in the group said he’s excited to see people – especially young people – getting involved and speaking out.

  • john

    Just Democrats whining about not being supported by the rest of us.

    • Kth Rhodes

      Too bad the teachers don’t have time to educate children.

      • Dan

        I’m sitting here in my own classroom on a break… and I’m wondering the same thing. Stop marching and do your job. I hate the union and I’m so glad I’m not a part of it..

    • Jimmy Thompson

      Why are these little brats not screaming in front of the WH? They are not grass roots, they are part of the DNC-Union machine demanding what they do not seserve. If they were really grass roots, they would have more facts and would be expressing their anger where it belongs, not where they have been instructed to protest. Just more mindless liberals.

    • jjv

      LOL, 85% of Americans are already fed up with the greedy Unions and their thuggish ways and this ought to seal it and confirm they were right on turning their backs on the greedy losers.

      • christina sage

        do people not realize that unions have ruined America ? there was a time when the unions were needed, but not so much now. today it’s more about how much money can i make doing as little as little as i possibly can get away with…

    • John Steele

      All Marxist in Origin… Nothing here to see… Move along Please !!!!!

    • Edward Boothe

      These filthy snot nose Communists accurately reflect the lace of values of the teachers union.

    • tony


      • George

        Free speech does not include civil disturbance, blocking traffic or disobeying/fighting police. Teachers unions are trash; they’re why our kids can’t read, write, compute or think for themselves, but choose to follow today’s Pied Pipers of Hamelin who will lead them to the same fate. Whine, whine, whine, you useless parasites but obey the law.

      • denroy3

        How did lie, Mr. product of these oh so great teacher’s unions? Whining would still be considered free speech, moron.

    • ILikeRush

      So true


    Funny how an extortionized labor movement, like the CPS union complains about corporate America, while the union’s agenda is very similar!! They get to vote a property tax increase and make sure “therir own” are taken care of. NO back door deals with the CPS right?? Give me a break!!! If these “occupiers” and the unions have their way, the USA will stand for United SOCIALISTS of America.

  • Jimbo

    These people need to find something constructive to do with their time. All demonstrating does is make them look foolish.

    • John Steele

      They are foolish, as they are letting themselves be used by the Neo Communists and Obama

      • jnsesq

        That last part is redundant, John.

  • have hammer will travel

    If I had a job, I would not have time to protest.

    • Jenny

      There was a time in the US when people took temporary jobs to wait out the recession, and in that down time they bettered themselves by seeking new skills, etc. Now, people are happy to sit back, collect unemployment, and either hang out on the streets……or “protest”. Sorry, as long as you’re the minority, (the jobless), you won’t be “given” anything. So enjoy the unemployment. I have a couple of friends and relatives who are working 2 part time jobs and taking on other odd jobs……it’s called PRIDE!!!!

    • Matt in Chicago

      If you had worthwhile skills, you might have a job…

    • denroy3

      Haha. looking hard for that job, I see.

      • Santino Vannozzi

        HEAR! HEAR!

    • Jimbo

      Protesting accomplishes absolutely nothing. It’s kind of like stomping your feet like a little kid. If you have so much time to burn, try some volunteer work, at least that is respectable.

      • Jimmy Thompson

        Nobody stopped caring about the welfare of people who deserve it, we just stopped listening to lazy parasites who demand what they did not earn.
        The rich have not kept people from making money. Maybe you were not aware, but there is still a lot of money out there for anyone who puts forth the effort. But bleeding heart liberals think it should be handed to them for just demanding it. Too bad, it will never work that way.
        People do not work they should be allowed to starve.

      • atrollsays

        Hey Kevin, Boston tea party was against MORE TAXES. Today organized labor unions and soros events are about RAISING TAXES!

      • Worried About the Next Generation

        That is completely untrue! Protesting is an amazing way to be heard and for people to come together, which is lacking far too much in today’s society. Since when did we stop caring about the welfare of the people and only worrying about ourselves individually?

      • Kevin Ryan

        The Boston Tea Party was in response to the Parliament’s elimination of taxes for East India Company (thus undercutting American importers) and imposition of taxes on colonists without representation. That PROTEST destroyed the equivalent of $1 million (in today’s dollars) of private property.

        The British government responded with the Intolerable Acts, which included closing the entire port of Boston and allowing British officials a trial in Britain for crimes in the colonies.

        Those acts led to the formation of the First Continental Congress. When George III refused to see the representative bearing the grievances PROTESTED by the First Continental Congress, a Second Continental Congress was organized.

        That Second Continental Congress wrote the Declaration of Independence.

        Wake up – ALL major societal changes have been rooted in protests – INCLUDING THE CREATION OF THE UNITED STATES!

      • chauck

        protesting in the 60s – do you remember-oops! how old are you????

      • dylfm5

        hello to worries about the next gen:
        1)the gov’t decided for everyone to care for everyone and not neighbors and churches, after all the gov’t is smarter than any one person…
        as i roll my eyes
        2) these “occupiers” ae not the protesters before 1776, these are the souches that have wanted to work an honest 8 a day

  • Barbara Miller

    Just trying to make life difficult for those of us who have ambition & a job. Tired of lefters trying to make me feel guilty because everthing they want has not been handed to them. I work hard for my lifestyle as does millions of others. Everything we have we have saved for. Get a clue protesters and get off your lazy a**.

    • Worried About the Next Generation

      What an ignorant statement! We just had 4 rounds of layoffs at my company over the past 3 years. It was all due to automating functions and nothing to do with people being lazy or unambitious. Get a clue, you may be next!

      • Barbara Miller

        My husband lost his job of over 23 years. His company, A large grocery chain moved downstate in order to get away from union rules/ regulations, benefits etc. The union, ( Obama supporters, behind the card check legislation) did nothing for any of the workers who lost their jobs. At the same time, my job was cut from full time to part time. We economized, cut back on things we didn’t need. My husband was lucky that after being out of work 2 months, he found another non-union job. Same pay & BETTER benefits. My job went back to full time. So really, I do have a clue.

      • astralweeks

        Sorry to hear about your husband Barbara, but the good news is the union leaders have fat pensions to live off of while encouraging their ignorant followers to go ‘protest.’

      • Jenny

        If your job was “automated” and you can’t find another….you weren’t reading the writing on the wall….it was only a matter of time. If you want to turn things around, stop protesting, turn off the video games and the Kardashians, and go back to school. Math and Science…..the two subjects the lazy shun…..are the only way to get ahead.

      • alien5

        So we should keep you employed because a machine can do your job?
        Should have thought of that before you decided not to get an education

      • Jimbo

        You make a good point, it’s not the greed of wallstreet, but rather the advances in technology. Automation increases the bottom line, something ALL business owners try to maximize. I think the reference about lazyness refers to not utilizing their time constructively. Complaining and carrying on will not change anything. Help out at a hospital, an animal shelter, or an senior’s home. There are better ways to utilize spare time than demonstrating.

      • Keith in Seattle

        Yeah and maybe if our biggest export wasn’t idiot entertainment and bad entertainment I might add, we might have more jobs. And just where does this idiot entertainment come from? The liberal bastion that is hollywood.

  • southside

    These fools can’t tell you what they want. Banks are bad. The big banks supported Obama for president. Obama led ther charge (with a democrat congress) for the bailout monies. What will they do when they understand that the democrats are the ones responsible for the things they don’t like? The big union backers don’t want you to know that.



      • Jimmy Thompson

        Stupid Harry, here are a few numbers for you to allow your brain cell to consider.
        Jan 2007, democrats took control of Congress and the checkbook. US debt was 6 trillion and unemployment was 4.5%. Look what they have since with full ownership of the government. Frank and Dodd were in charge of oversight of banking and housing. They allowed both sectors to fail despite numerous warning from members of both parties. Nice try, your ignororance will not fly here. You may ignore facts, but everyone else doen not.
        Now, who do want to blame?

      • Jack

        You must have forgotten 911. The Taliban as well as Bin Laden had to go. Saddam Hussien had plenty of chances to comply, he had to go as well. Unfortunately both wars were necessary for world security and it isn’t over yet.

  • CFLC

    Thank God! I thought the marches were all about Columbus and the Italians.

  • Jim

    So this is like a bank robber pointing the finger at a jewelry robber…

  • Glad to see someone FINALLY fighting back

    There are only two kinds of right-wing Republicans,millionaires and suckers…which kind are YOU???

    • Just My Opinion

      I don’t think you are correct. Republicans are pro gun and pro concealed carry. Democrats want tight gun control, bad idea. Liberals love to pass out those free handouts. Enough free handouts, let everyone earn their keep. Republicans are tired of being raped by the unions. The list goes on and on. It seems to me that the Republicans over all have the best plans for our future. With Democrats running things, this country will never improve.

      • Jimmy Thompson

        You can’t argue with a liberal. They no longer have the brain function to think for themselves. They chose to have the lobotomy so they can stop listening to reason and facts. They just obey blindly. They have become the parasites their leaders want them to be.
        “Too much information is dangerous.” Obama

      • Repubs suck

        what kind of fantasy world are you living in? I may agree with you about the gun thing but Republicans have the best plan for our future ? Which “our ” are you talking about? Is that “our” ALL of “ours” or just yours? We already have seen the results of eight years of Republican rule. Look at the mess Obama inherited. The mess he’s TRYING to clean up!
        As I have stated before …their are TWO kinds of Republicans MILLIONAIRES and SUCKERS let me guess….SUCKER!!!

  • pised off

    I lost my job and worked hard to make my own business. If someone really wants a job they will find one.

    When I left college i did not get a job in my field. I waited tables and took odd jobs. I did not turn my nose up to any job. If it payed I did the work.

    I find it very hard to believe that there is absolutly no work. The excuse of not taking any job that pays is BS. Maybe the protesters are waiting for a job to be served up on a silver plater ?

    Now they want to punish the people that work (that is the way I see it). I worked hard my whole life and always lived within my means. I never had a credit card !!!!!!!! I only paid cash. I never ever looked to take from someone else so I can have something.

    The protesters should network together and start a business not trouble. If they lack the knowledge for that maybe they should protest the schools the graduated from.

    End of rant.

  • Centurion

    TAKE BACK CHICAGO? Then they check the Metra schedules and have to catch a train home…so they give it back.


  • Centurion

    Can you imagine all this white bread marching down on 95TH and Cottage Grove? Let’s see if they can TAKE BACK CHICAGO on the SOUTH SIDE!

    • malcom

      not punk ass white liberals. they only kill their white parents. But be as it may you just know it was going to be white liberals to betray America and bring it down.

  • Mike

    I was for this protest untill the unions got involved. Now i really don’t care because it all stinks of corruption. I still do however hope the best for the students and their demands. The unions stink

  • malcom

    How about deporting Illegals? how about cutting off the 50 BILLION dollars given to 192 countres every year? How about start executing all the filth on death row? How about taxing the poor at a higher rate to pay for all their programs? How about protesting YOUR president who is in charge of all this mess? And why should your student loans be forgiven when there are War veterans who had to earn their right to go to school?

  • Marvin

    The holidays are coming up and guess who Big buisness and wall street will be hoping will spend their money on products to move markets and Buisnesses? That 99% per cent that they keep kicking in the A$$, the shinking middle Class that they depend on to move this economy. Not that 1% pre cent that has all the money!!! The Real Tax Payers Bail them OUT!!!

    • scot

      ” so Lets give them what they want. Lets get rid of all of the corporations. Then what? There would be NO cell phones. No Clothes. No DVDs. No DVDplayers no Digital Cameras. No Cars. No computers. No phones. no electricity. No banks no grocery stores. NO JOBS! NO life saving Drugs. No life saving medical equipment. No gas stations which you wouldnt need cause there would be NO cars. No airplanes. No military defence contactors. Um ehat else. Just about everything in you freaking house or in this world that make your life easier and even liveable would not exist. Stop being Jellous of those that have busted their but to make it in this world and get off your but and follow there lead. Invent somthing. Build somthing. do somthing great and then market it. Then get rich! If you dont want to do that fine. Stop complaining about the ones that did do it and made there own way!”

      • Jeb

        Hey Scot,

        There’s a 1% (or more) in the “99% ” that want exactly that.

  • chauck

    we are all at fault – term limits for all – they may stop running for office all the time and have time to work…. the part-time job our state reps have at $65,000- I’ll sign up for one of these jobs- could this be just one (1) of many problems?? our state budget has – when will learn there is no ONE cure for all our ills and please stop wasting time with the blame game

  • Jerry Frey

    Remember when the Chris Matthews crowd painted the Tea Party with their ideological tar brush of racism? Support for Herman Cain proves they were fools. Now, the Republicans are the ideological fools for describing the Occupy Wall Street Movement as an anti-capitalist mob of hippies.

    The middle class, the backbone and benchmark of our democracy, has been decimated. People who once lived comfortable lives and were confident about the future for themselves and their children, now live in their cars and reluctantly utilize food banks. Protestors on Wall Street who represent anger and frustration with the status quo will begin making an impact when the protests are transferred to Pennsylvania Ave. and McClean, Va.

    Social unrest, revolution, ensues when the people see nothing to lose.

    People are more important than profits. Families are more important than market share.

  • Nick

    Don’t forget, Republicans engaged in some of the most irresponsible fiscal policy
    in the history of the US from 2001-2007. Because of the Bush tax cuts, by 2003,
    the US was already drowning in debt. And don’t excuse it by citing 9/11. That was only a small part of the problem. And in any case, why implement a fiscal policy as
    if no crises will occur. THAT’S what the Republicans did in 2001. And we’ve been paying for it ever since. I will never vote Republicans again.

    • astralweeks

      As the great orator, Bugs Bunny said, “What a maroon.”

    • kevin

      Oh no they lost the idiot vote.

    • Scott

      How do you chose to ignore the fact that the IRS collected higher revenues with the Bush tax cuts than what they predicted they would receive without the tax cuts? Do you think that higher tax rates always result in higher revenues? If the tax rate was 100%, do you think people would continue to work overtime for $0 extra dollars? The problems this country faces has nothing to do with the Bush tax cuts. You need to look at how much the Federal Government is spending. If you tax all rich people at 100% (assuming they will continue to earn money, which obviously they won’t), the Federal Government still has to borrow money to pay its bills. The problem is Government spending, not revenues! Please look at how much money the Democrats are now spending compared to the Bush years! Not that the Republicans of 2001-2007 were any good, but it should make you sick to side with the Democrats.

    • Jimmy Thompson

      Nick, you did not complete your timeline. Gee I wonder why. I will do it for you. Always having to proof read liberal work.
      Jan 2007 liberals took congress, US debt was 6 trillion and unemployment was 4.5%. Look at what they have done until Jan of this year and rethink your blame game.
      What a tool.

  • Shannon

    I fully support taking action against corporate America. As an unemployed American, who is now expecting to forclose and is paying back student loans, we need guidance and leaders to get this country back on track. BOA and Chase have become to big for there own good, it’s sickening. Give us jobs, don’t take them away…(just venting…)

    • actualsun

      I take it that you received a horrible college education…maybe a sociology or history degree? I’d be asking for my money back if I were you because they didn’t teach you how to spell, didn’t teach you about business and apparently didn’t teach you about personal finances.

    • Jenny

      Just a thought, if you can’t spell “foreclosure” and don’t know how to use, “there, their and they’re”….that may be the reason you’re unemployed. And sorry, you took out the student loans. If your grades sucked because you partied a little too much, or if you majored in “communications” because math, science and accounting were too hard, tough! Take a job at Starbucks in the morning and walk dogs in the afternoon and evening…..but you still OWE the US the money!!!

    • moose

      sounds like you are looking for a way out of paying your debts-don’t borrow if you cant afford to pay it back. You took out student loans, and now you are whining….

  • Waylon Placek

    For you blind brainwashed working class republicans that cant seem to understand the greed of the wealthiest people in this country and actually feel sorry for them when in reality these people pay less taxes then u and make 100 times more $ is beyond me just beyond logical thinking. As far as teachers talking about greed they need to look in the mirror. We depend on people like this to educate? These people work a total of what 7 months a yr? Yet they think they should make as much as a Dr. Frankly as do police and fireman. All very important but I dont think anymore important then a Dr. and frankly dont have to spend the same $ for college and leave school with huge debts or have as hard of schooling dont need anymore raises.

    • Patriot

      I smell a communist !!!

  • David B

    Pop Quiz 2. Name this leader:

    The nation was in shambles. A previous ruler had led the country into an unnecessary war, the economy was failing, and a sense of depression filled the air. Then, a new leader emerged. He was a powerful speaker, offering hope, change, and a fix to the economy. He wrote two books about his experiences and used his literary work to propel him to success. He was an open christian with some muslim friends. He called for unity and considered himself an advocate of peace. Some of his political opponents cast him as naive and inexperienced. He also had alot of radical ties, but the media, and ultimately the voters, were willing to overlook that.

    Who is he?

  • Thomas Paine

    What’s scary is these people support Obama and the Democrats who are just as guilty (if not worse) abusers of everything they are protesting against. Yet, like Sheep, the Dems will applaud and support this and say Republicans are greedy.

  • TxSon

    You really want to resolve the unemployment problem?
    1. Throw out the current tax code, loopholes and all
    2. Bring down corporate tax rates to be competitive
    3. Allow companies to repatriate profits without double taxation

    Companies are sitting on trillions of dollars because of uncertainty and conficatory tax laws. Free up that money and employment wlll BOOM!

  • David B

    D o u c h e B a g g e r s for Big-Brother!

  • Jeff

    Loosers…Loosers…..and more Loosers

    • Deb

      Isn’t it spelled Losers..Losers….and more Losers?

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