The Occupy movement rose in response to the subprime mortgage fiasco and the subsequent financial crisis in late-2000s. The movement held protest marches against the economic meltdown and the resulting bank bailouts by the government. The first protest to gain notoriety was the Occupy Wall Street. It provided a catalyst, that sparked other similar movements all over the world.
On Saturday, 16th October 2011, hundreds of people gathered in front of the Chicago Board of Trade Building, at Jackson and LaSalle, as a part of the Occupy Chicago movement. They demanded more attention and care for the poor and less pandering to the rich. They demanded more taxation on Wall Street, end to war, check on government and corporate funding.
The streets were filled with chants like “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out”, “We are the 99%”, “People over profit”. The atmosphere was electric with more people joining in with time. The crowd was comprised of people from almost all walks of life, from youngsters filled with a lot of energy, to older folk taking part in improving their society, and also quite a few young children.
I am always troubled by the presence of children at protests. I think, that they are too young to actually understand the issues they are protesting against and only represent the views of their parents/guardians. Also, these protests can get nasty at the drop of a dime.
The occasion was covered extensively by the local media. And there was a lot of police presence at the scene. The police only stood their ground, and prevented the protesters from spilling over to the roads and blocking traffic. The protesters did their part in maintaining order amongst themselves. At one point they pulled a guy from the megaphone because he shouted out an expletive.
After a while, the protest moved from the Chicago Board of Trade and walked all the way to Grant Park. People unfolded a large American flag and the demonstrators marched on the streets carrying it aloft.
During the walk, the batteries, of my GF2 ran out and I was able to take only a few shots. After I left the scene, the protesters camped at Grant Park after it was closed. This led to a lot of arrests the next morning, as they were now in direct violation of the city laws.