The Occupy movement began Sept. 2011 as a democratic, nonviolent protest movement against excessive social and economic inequality and factors that promote inequality, like big business. It is an international movement, but in the United States, Occupy Wall Street has received the most media attention. Occupy Wall Street operates under the slogan, “We are the 99%,” highlighting that most of the American economy’s wealth is accumulated within the 1%, a small amount of people. In response to New York’s Occupy Wall Street, many other Occupy movements were established throughout the nation. Locally, Occupy Chicago is one of these movements.
“Occupy Chicago protestors at the intersection of Jackson and La Salle in downtown Chicago on Saturday, October 16th.” Photo by abjam77.
Occupy Chicago began its efforts with 24/7 presence on Jackson and LaSalle, in front of the Board of Trade and Federal Reserve and public, organized meetings most days of the week on Michigan and Congress. As its publicity and numbers grew, members of the movement participated in large-scale marches and got involved with specific political and social issues, like by protesting the NATO Summit held in Chicago this summer. Press for Occupy has died down recently, but meetings and organization are still occurring on a near-daily basis.
Occupy Chicago has over 20 committees with individual purposes within the movement, and it has general assembly meetings every Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Congress and Michigan. Occupy is open to any interested people of the community, and participants decide their own levels of involvement. Occupy Chicago currently participates in various protests and marches throughout the city in collaboration with various other organizations.