PI Original Aaron Krager Tuesday October 4th, 2011, 2:53pm

Occupy Chicago Prepares For Phase Two Of Protest (VIDEO)

Nearing the end of their second week of action, Occupy Chicago continues to grow despite its lack of defined leadership or, as some have argued, concise messaging. Proudly proclaiming “we are the 99%”, the leaderless movement might just be growing due to the shared frustration with policies seemingly written to benefit the wealthiest Americans.

Nearing the end of their second week of action, Occupy Chicago continues to grow despite its lack of defined leadership or, as some have argued, concise messaging. Proudly proclaiming “we are the 99%”, the leaderless movement might just be growing due to the shared frustration with policies seemingly written to benefit the wealthiest Americans.

The overwhelmingly young and racially-diverse crowd of between 100 to 150 Illinoisans carry signs demanding that corporations pay their share in taxes and better jobs. There are even a few signs displaying conspiracy theories about a new world order. This is all taking place outside of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Federal Reserve buildings along with marching on Jackson Blvd. and Michigan Ave.

“We’re out here in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protesters and the protests going on in over 100 different places across the world,” said Sam Abrahamson, a member of the press liason committee. “We all come from a variety of backgrounds and have different opinions on social issues [and] spiritual issues, but we [are] all on the common thread [that] there is too much corporate money in our politics.”

Multiple protesters say they are surprised by the positive reaction from people coming out of nearby buildings giving them a thumbs up or gracious nod. Car horns also honk in solidarity; mostly from cab drivers. Mark Banks of Occupy Chicago said taxi drivers have offered free rides to their storage facility.

“This is movement that isn’t about ideology," said Evelyn DeHais of the press liaison committee. "It’s about ideas and it’s about how there is a common idea that we can all get behind. That there is 99 percent of this country that is disenfranchised and not being heard. That is irresponsible and awful, but it can be changed and we can change it.”

Here's more from the protesters of Occupy Chicago:

Among the most pressing of issues for Occupy Chicago participants is that of housing. Quite a few of the protesters are from out of town and they are barred from sleeping outside due to a city ordinance aimed at hindering the homeless population. Occupy Wall Street grew with media coverage of police brutality and endorsements from labor unions and community organizations. Just five days younger, Occupy Chicago lags behind its counterpart when it comes to that sort of support. Emilio Baez is fearful of being co-opted by larger organizations. The movement, though, has garnered the support of native Chicago rap superstar Lupe Fiasco, who offered up a care package while on tour.

DeHais believes 60 percent to 70 percent of the protesters have regular jobs and are coming prior to work as well as after; much like she has been doing for the last week. She recounted one story of a fellow protester telling her he had to leave for his second job. Off the cuff, he remarked he needed a third and was barely scrapping by.

Two detractors refused to be identified, but did have disparaging comments. One passerby exclaimed, “That guy is holding a sign saying 'Pass the Buffett Tax'. What an idiot!” Another mocked the group claiming he was part of the one percent.

Occupy Chicago tweeted out this morning to its nearly 7,000 followers that there would be a new base of operations to be announced shortly; along with an entering of phase two for the long-term show of action. The next part of the movement consists of smaller groups targeting various spots around the Loop. It is in direct response to a late-night police demand that the protesters not sit or sleep in one location.

Image: Cryptome.org

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