Protests around Chicago began even before the NATO Summit got underway.
Occupy Chicago held a protest calling for a Moratorium on Eviction on Wednesday. The protesters demanded a halt on all “for profit” evictions and foreclosures. The rally began at Jackson and La Salle Streets and traveled to Daley Plaza.
Along the way, demonstrators stopped at several locations in which people spoke through megaphones about the issues that they are protesting.
“Fight, fight, fight. Housing is a human right,” attendees chanted.
Daniel Olasukan said he travelled from Ohio to participate in the demonstrations before and during the Chicago NATO Summit. He said that this particular event is important to him because of a family member who is currently struggling with being evicted. People shouldn’t be forced out of their homes, he said.
“My aunt has lived in her home for 25 years. She is going through a tough spot right now and may possibly be evicted. It’s ridiculous,” Olasukan said.
The protesters set up furniture in front of a Chicago Citibank, a bank which one protester described as “one of the key banks behind the foreclosure crisis.” Protesters said the furniture is from a foreclosed home. The furniture was then moved to the lobby of the Citibank, in front of the ATM machines.
Occupy Chicago member Micah Philbrook said the police decided that the ATM lobby of Citibank was not a good place to put a set of furniture, and they confiscated them.
“They arrested the furniture,” Philbrook said.
Virginia Gonzalez, a victim of foreclosure, shed a few tears as she described her family’s “battle” against the banks for her home.
“We have nowhere to go if we lose this house. We will be living on the streets,” she said.
- Watch: May Day in Chicago May Foreshadow NATO protests (chicagotalks.org)
- Seriously, the Clowns Are in Town for NATO (chicagotalks.org)
- A Week of Protest Ahead in Chicago (chicagotalks.org)