Dubbed the “Give It Back Rally,” organizers estimate that 5,000 people showed up to protest against corporate businesses outside the annual Chicagoland CFO Executive Summit at the Hyatt Regency downtown.
The rally lasted about an hour, shutting down parts of Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue during the evening rush hour to accommodate the relatively peaceful protest, with officers policing on bicycles, cars, SUVs, horses, and segways.
Jesse Jackson made a surprise appearance and
the event also had its own Twitter account mocking "corporate welfare kings." See our video of the sights
and sounds after the jump.
The large gathering was a
collective effort of teachers, workers, activists, union leaders and
members, and community organizations from groups including
the Chicago Teachers Union, SEIU (which sponsors this site), Stand Up!
Chicago, Action Now, and ADAPT. A total of 25 protesters were arrested after linking arms and refusing to move from the ground as they
shouted against corporate greed. All were ticketed with a road
The CFO summit featured execs from big companies like Motorola, McDonald's, Ernst and Young, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, Hyatt Hotels, IBM, and CDW. Although leaders of the protest say they attempted to speak with summit officials, Hyatt staff manned each entrance to block protestors. The summit’s organizers also offered no comment despite the noise outside their doors. As we know well here at Progress Illinois, it is no secret that “corporate freeloaders” have evaded taxes directly and indirectly -- either via government-backed tax breaks and/or the aggressive exploitation of loopholes -- at a time when school budgets are cut, workers are jobless, and the people continue to suffer.