UPDATED 12/05/11 7:27 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Hundreds of anti-corporate protesters boarded buses bound for Washington, D.C., Monday morning to protest the influence of corporate lobbyists on Congress.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, six busloads of Chicagoans headed off around 5:30 a.m. to be part of the event. They departed from Teamster City, 300 S. Ashland Ave.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
The event is part of a nationwide effort this week to “take back the Capitol.”
Michelle Young of the group Action Now says most of the people on the trip are unemployed, but want to work, and want a better life for their families.
That is what they will be trying to get through to members of Congress.
“They’re going to get the message. Yes. They are going to get the message,” Young said, “because we mean business, and that’s what we want them to do is take care of business.”
Protester Roberto Eichora says he hopes to “let (Congress) know that they need to support the United States of Americans to create more jobs.”
“We want to represent the interests and the needs of the 99 percent in Washington,” said Catherine Murrell of Stand Up Chicago, which is leading the local faction of protesters. “We want to make sure that Congressmen hear about the needs of the struggling families and start taking them seriously.”
Union members, community groups, religious organizations and unemployed workers are taking part io the trip.
Once the protesters arrive in Washington, events are set up for each day this week. They will set up a “People’s Camp” with tents and signs later Monday, followed by protests at Congressional offices on Tuesday and at the Washington lobbyists’ offices on K Street on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the group plans “multiple speak-outs throughout the Capitol” and a nationwide prayer vigil, before the group returns home on Friday.
The goal of the nationwide effort in Washington, according to the Web site for the event, is “for the 99 percent to be a visible, peaceful presence on Capitol Hill.
“By day we’ll show up at Congressional hearings and K Street lobbyists’ offices, and by night we’ll crash in church auditoriums, union halls, and in tents and sleeping bags,” the site says. “Our goal is to remind Congress to represent all Americans—not just the richest 1 percent.”