Chicago Protest Takes Over LaSalle Street Bridge

Updated 11/17/11 – 9:45 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Hundreds of Occupy Chicago protesters took to the streets in downtown Chicago during Thursday’s rush hour, marching against corporate greed and economic inequality.

More than 1,000 protesters — a combination of Occupy Chicago members and members of a group calling itself Stand Up Chicago — shut down the LaSalle Street Bridge around 4 p.m. as part of their demonstration. By about 4:40 p.m., police were telling the protesters to leave the bridge.

A few dozen protesters were led away from the bridge by police officers after sitting down on the roadway.

Police said that none of those protesters were arrested. Instead, 46 protesters were issued “administrative notices of violations” – essentially meaning they were ticketed for blocking the bridge. They were not taken to jail.

A few minutes after those demonstrators were led away from the bridge, the other protesters began marching south on LaSalle Street through the Financial District, planning to eventually make their way to Grant Park. A smaller crowd of demonstrators met at the Thompson Center plaza later Thursday evening to cap off the day’s events.

While on the bridge, a few of the protesters spoke out about their mission.

“The cuts that the (Congressional deficit-cutting) super committee are considering right now and the impact that would have on some of the most vulnerable people in our society, it’s just unconscionable and we’re on this bridge today to show that we need to invest in infrastructure, rebuild our country and put people back to work,” protester E.J. Serrano said.

Fellow protester Ashley Bohrer said, “I’m out here because there are more foreclosed houses in this city than there are homeless people and that’s a travesty. I’m out here because everyone deserves free access to education, a safe place to sleep at night, access to decent food, water and health care.”

After leaving the bridge, the protesters stopped again on their march to Grant Park when they reached the Chicago Board of Trade building at LaSalle and Jackson.

While there, protesters pushed their way past police barricades on Jackson, taking over that street for about 10 minutes.

Shortly before 6 p.m., they began making their way north on LaSalle Street, then east on Monroe Street past Federal Plaza, then south on State Street to eventually go to Grant Park.

Police were putting up rolling roadblocks as protesters made their way toward through the Loop in an attempt to keep the disruption of traffic to a minimum.

Earlier, protesters rallied outside the Thompson Center before starting their march through downtown.

“The country has been taken over by big corporations and the working people and the poor people and the minorities have to take back power,” protester Lenore Wolf said during a rally outside the Thompson Center.

“There are children, seniors and people with disabilities who need help now,” another protester said.

“The unemployment rate for veterans returning is almost a third higher than the national average, that is shameful,” veteran Will Attick said. “We all put our combat boots on when our country asked us to. Now give us a new pair of boots – work boots.”

Also on Thursday, Occupy Wall Street protesters took part in a national day of action, clogging streets near the New York Stock Exchange. Police arrested 177 demonstrators in New York.

Thursday marked exactly two months since the start of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

  • Micheal Savage

    This is on obama ,the left the Demoncrats and the unions,we are going to have a war on the streets of America,and remember who back these troublemakers OBAMA and his SUPPORTERS.

    • LOTD

      You speak the absolute truth!!! This class warfare will backfire on the left. NObama is the most divisive and worst president in history, PERIOD!!! How’s the hope and change working for all you je rk-offs that voted for him??

  • Mike

    Ticked for blocking a bridge? Your kidding? Chicago is hard up for money and by the time these officers complete the paperwork and file it, the city lost money. Someone who knows checks and balance per our USA constitution needs to run Chicago and the State of Illinois needs one as well. Doesn’t matter what political party what matters is the end to unaccounted spending and corruption. Count every penny, account for revenue in, can’t spend more than its value, a penny will always be a penny. I think the people of this great state have the right to see the books because like stockholders we pay a lot in taxes and like stockholders we have the right to see the books; time for the people to hold ourselves accountable for not trying to hold people accountable and make it right.

  • Hey

    Lock up these losers!

  • Raymond Prudente

    More than $3 Trillion taxpayers hard-earned dollars has been poured into GM, AIG, Wall St. Banks… Workers lost over $5 Trillion in real estate bust/mortgage fraud. The Fed. Refused to release records to uncover where $2 Trillion had gone in the loan program that followed collapse of Lehman Brothers. Since 2008, not a single Sr. Executive in banking industry faced jail time for fueling one of the largest financial crisis in U.S. History.

    Additionally, the price of CORRUPTION to taxpayers in the State of Illinois-more than $300 Million a year. (UIC 2009 Study). ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! TIME TO PROTEST AND TO REVOLT NOW!!!

  • Raymond Prudente

    In September 2008, CBO found $100 billion tax cut for the wealthy would reduce unemployment in 2011 and nothing at all. Banks are loaded with cash (Bailout) and money is flowing overseas. Global outsourcing weaken economy, massive job cuts…Wall St. Pooled together hundreds of mortgages loans, converted into unregistered securities and illegally sold those securities to investors around the world as certificates.

    The “Too Big To Fail” now wield money/power demonstrating wholesale ownership of the country and of entire political body, a massive wealth transfer from people to the banking industry. America’s corporate boardrooms plundering money from unsuspecting shareholders and dividing among directors, top executives…A CORRUPT, TIN-POT corporate masquerading as a civilized first rate world corporate culture. Conspiracy of Silence prevailed in order to allow the wholesale fleecing of the American people to continue unabated. In Wall St./Banking Industry there is still honor among barons and thieves.


    These losers have to be Democrats! They’re protesting measures to cut the deficit. They’re calling for more free handouts than what are already given. Where do these morons think the money is going to come from for all of these entitlements? What exactly do these idiots want banks and Wallstreet and the wealthy 1% to do? Start handing out money to those less fortunate? Proposterous. It’ll never happen. These stupid protesters will never get one damn thing they think they are entitled to. Go get a damn job like the rest of us, ANY JOB, and don’t expect to become wealthy until you have put in MANY years of hard work. These childish displays, in the end, will acomplish absolutely nothing. The wealthy 1% are watching and laughing their ass off at these fools!!!

    • Jim Hamilton

      You said it right
      I’m no protestor but the one thing i do detest is the fact

      The summit’s theme will be “Speak Up, Speak Out for Freedom and Rights.”
      Imagine this being held in a place so bent on squashing your Second Amendment Rights.
      The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.
      Thank You
      I to am a veteran and America owes me nothing but now that I am missing a leg and have some other issues making it impossible for me to run and or fight back. I would appreciate the same opportunity to defend myself as I have for this nation against any would be attacker or attackers that impose a direct threat to me or my family, and Lord knows Chicago is full of them.
      I protest here in peace Pat Quinn and his threat to veto a Right to carry law. HB148

    • OLD VET


  • Chicago 3: All kinds of walking | Spinning Plates
blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live