CHICAGO (CBS) — Now that spring is here, the Occupy Chicago protesters are back.
Several hundred people participated in a Saturday march through downtown streets that ended in Grant Park, adjacent to Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway.
The Occupy movement in Chicago never really went away over the winter. It helped to facilitate numerous protests, news conferences and rallies. Now, they hope to put some of the protesters’ energy to work.
Loren Taylor, of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, said Occupy-related housing groups are seeking assistance from NATO protesters.
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“What we are asking is that for every day you come here protesting the NATO summit, you spend one day with us engaging in the community doing work for the community,” he said.
High on the list is fixing up foreclosed homes that have been abandoned by the banks that now own them. The Anti-Eviction Campaign, along with the Occupy offshoot Occupy Our Homes, hopes to fix up 100 abandoned homes and turn them over to homeless families.
Occupy Our Homes is urging families who would like to seek shelter as part of that program to visit the contact page of its Web site or call.
Protesters hoisted signs that read, “We’re back,” “Chicago Spring,” “Our economy has one foot in the grave,” and “Bunk of America.”
Veteran activist Ronald Schupp was among those who took pat, and said he believes that in its seven months of existence, the Occupy movement and its offshoots have helped to create awareness and positive change.
“We’re keeping this issues alive, such as homelessness, hunger, lack of education, lack of jobs,” he said. “It’s all bringing it out in the open. It keeps up the pressure on the system to make legitimate social change. That’s what we’re about.”