Unions, Jobs with Justice to join Occupy Chicago Friday, October 28, for another encampment in Chicago's Grant Park

In what may grow into an even bigger confrontation, Occupy Chicago has gained allies in its struggle to establish an encampment in Chicago's Grant Park, following a second round of weekend arrests by Chicago police of those who have sought to pitch tents in the famous lakefront public park. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Jobs with Justice have announced that they intend to mobilize their members to help Occupy Chicago secure a site for their protest encampment on Friday, October 28, 2011, which will mark the third weekend that Chicago protesters will have squared off against former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (currently Chicago's mayor) over whether Chicago will remain the only major city where "Occupy" protesters are barred from putting tents in public parks. On October 16 and October 23, Chicago police arrested more than 300 persons, total, when Emanuel ordered the police to enforce a city curfew that "closes" the parks at 11:00 p.m.

Jobs with Justice had earlier publicized its support for the Occupy Chicago move towards Grant Park and had joined the protesters on the weekend of October 22 - 24. A Jobs with Justice notice on the organization's website prior to the weekend said: "Join the Movement! Occupy Chicago!

Chicago Jobs with Justice and union members across the city will march with the protesters of Occupy Chicago to help win a space at Grant Park. We need people to march with us but also stay until morning to prevent arrest and removal. Several thousand expected. Be a part of the movement. Saturday October 22nd, 6:00 PM, LaSalle & Jackson. March to Michigan and Congress. Dress warm and prepare to stay overnight!"


Chicago: The Occupation Will Continue!, by occupychiadmin, Occupy Chicago

October 23, 2011

Second occupation attempt brings harsher consequences for peaceful protesters.

CHICAGO 10/23/11 - -Early this morning, roughly 130 people from Occupy Chicago were arrested while attempting for the second time to build a new, permanent home for the Occupation, exercising their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble. Arrestees were taken to the District 1 Police Station at 18th & State, where they were charged with disturbing the peace.

This weekend follows up 175 arrests from last weekend's demonstration in the same park. Those 175 were released on bond a few hours after their arrests. Individuals arrested this morning have been held much longer, some over 16 hours. These arrestees were denied phone calls and legal counsel.

Six protesters were arrested last week as well as this morning. Despite Occupy Chicago's attempt to post bond

for these individuals, only one, Joey Young, 27, was

released. The rest are being held until they meet

individually with a judge on Monday, each at separate

locations. Young was told he could speak with a public

defender but that never manifested. After a very brief

meeting with a bond judge, Young was released around

3:00 PM with a $10,000 i-bond. His possessions,

including his phone, shoelaces and wallet, were not

returned. He has a court date scheduled for October 26.

Those arrested Sunday morning included registered nurses

and other members from National Nurses United, who

erected a medical tent at the action. NNU and Occupy

Chicago plan a protest outside City Hall at 11:00 AM

Monday to denounce the arrests and demand that charges

be dropped.

Occupy Chicago questions why city resources are being

used to arrest non-violent protestors. First Amendment

rights guarantee the right to peaceful assembly, and

park curfews should not restrict these rights.

Since the completion of arrests around 3:00 AM, dozens

of supporters have been waiting outside the police

station with donations of hot food for the release of

their fellow Occupiers.

Since Sept. 23, Occupy Chicago has been utilizing the

sidewalks of the financial district to raise awareness

of the corruption and complicity in the banking industry

and government.

Nurses Condemn Chicago Mayor Emanuel for Arrest Of Nurses, Medical Volunteers at Occupy Chicago

National Nurses United

October 23, 2011 (For Immediate Release)

RNs to Picket Mayor's Office Monday Morning at 10 am

Registered nurses from across the U.S. today condemned

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for his decision to arrest

nurse volunteers, as well as peaceful protesters, in a

late night crackdown Saturday night at the Occupy

Chicago protest.

NNU is asking supporters to call Mayor Emanuel's office

at 312-744-5000 and demand they immediately drop all

charges against the nurses and other protesters, and

stop the harassment and arrests of the nurses and others

peacefully exercising their free speech rights. Nurses

will also picket the mayor's office at 10 a.m. Monday

morning, at City Hall at the LaSalle entrance.

Nurse leaders of National Nurses United who set up a

nurses' station to provide basic first aid to Chicago

protesters - as NNU has done peacefully in five other

cities across the U.S. - were among the some 130 people

arrested by Chicago police. The police also tore down

the first aid station, and arrested scores of others who

had peacefully assembled to support the station.

"Even in wartime, combatants respect the work of nurses

and other first responders. Yet Mayor Emanuel and

Chicago seem to care as little about that tradition as

they do in protecting the constitutional rights of free

speech and assembly." said NNU Executive Director

RoseAnn DeMoro. "These arrests are disgraceful and

unconscionable, and will not deter our nurses from

continuing this mission, setting up the station again,

and continuing to support the protests."

Occupy Chicago defense NNU first aid station in Chicago

just before the arrests Saturday night

Emanuel has been perhaps the most aggressive mayor in

the nation in repression of the occupy Wall Street

movement with mass arrests on at least two occasions

now. The Chicago Tribune Saturday reported that city

officials are trying to send a message to world leaders

of being "tough" on demonstrators in advance of upcoming

meetings of G-8 and NATO leaders in May.

"Instead of showing off for world leaders, and paying

allegiance to protecting the economic interests of the

top 1 percent, Mayor Emanuel should stop, and start

representing the 99 percent, the people for whom the

occupy movement has become a clear voice," DeMoro said.

NNU also has first aid stations now established at

occupy protests in New York's Zuccotti Park, site of the

first Occupy Wall Street protests, Los Angeles,

Washington, San Francisco, and Detroit, and will be

opening up others in coming days.

Occupy Chicago Grows, Looks for a Permanent Home

by: Yana Kunichoff


18 October 2011

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase

all have their own slice of downtown Chicago, but the

grassroots occupation movement Occupy Chicago has yet to

find a permanent home.

Since Occupy Chicago's attempt to start an encampment at

a swathe of prominent Grant Park on Saturday ended with

a mass civil disobedience in which 200 activists were

arrested, the movement has been offered a meeting with


But organizers say that Emanuel's tactic does not aim to

accommodate the protests but to diffuse them before

Chicago becomes the central point of anticorporate anger

when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and

the G8 hold their summit in the city next year and Obama

begins his re-election campaign out of Chicago.

"The Chicago Police Department and the city of Chicago

itself are playing a different game than we are seeing

around the rest of the country," said Matthew Camp, an

organizer with Occupy Chicago. "They are not trying to

physically repress the movement, but instead, they are

denying it the chance to exist as an occupation."

Positions at Monday's general assembly on whether to

accept Emanuel's offer were divided between demanding

that Emanuel come to the protest site, sending

representatives to his office and asking him to hold a

general assembly in City Hall.

A motion was passed to issue a formal statement to

Emanuel. His office did not respond to requests for

comment on the current status of the offer.

Twenty-six days since Occupy Chicago started, the

movement maintains a picket 24 hours a day, seven days a

week in front of the city's financial district, but

activists say that starting an encampment is key to

building solidarity among different groups and in

keeping their resistance visible.

Camp, who calls himself "overeducated and

underemployed," said that if the protest were able to

move to Grant Park, "thousands of people would be

exposed to the occupation a day, and I think once it

moves to a public space we will see a much broader level

of participation."

Chris Alvarez, 23, a military veteran who was medically

discharged and had his benefits cut, spoke to Truthout

as he secured a tent in Chicago's Grant Park among the

more than 2,000-strong crowd on Saturday night.

"The strategy is pretty much to set up headquarters,"

said Alvarez. "People are ready to take a stand."

Cassie Bee said she was hoping that Saturday's

encampment would come together because, "I was hoping I

could have a place to sleep tonight."

Bee, 22, a trans woman, said that her parents had kicked

her out and, since graduating with a degree in geography

and earth sciences in July, she had been unable to find

a job.

"I would like to see more diversity in this," said Bee,

who recognized that, with her degree, things will be

better for her in a couple of years, "but for a lot of

people that won't be the case."

Occupy Chicago plans to attempt to set up an encampment

again on Friday, but this time, they have new allies -

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) will be

bussing in its members, according to Camp, and the

director of Jobs With Justice made a statement at

Monday's general assembly offering the support of its

members to help Occupy Chicago find a permanent home.

"We need to not only do this for one month, but we need

to continue this fight," said Matthew Scott, media

director for the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign. "You

can really feel the frustrations and hopes of people

here. We're of the people and for the people."


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