Business, Economics and Jobs

Demonstrators in Chicago denounce foreclosure crisis


Chicago mounted police officers watch over a protest taking place in the Federal Building Plaza in Chicago, Illinois. Wednesday marked the third straight day of protests as Chicago prepares to host the NATO Summit on Sunday and Monday.


Scott Olson

A march denouncing the foreclosure crisis in the US has taken place in Chicago, where police are bracing for the arrival of thousands more protesters this weekend.

AFP reports that the demonstrators were the latest to use the up-coming NATO summit, due to be held in the city on Sunday and Monday, as an opportunity to draw attention to the issue.

About 100 or so people marched to the courthouse where foreclosures are processed shouting "Fight! Fight! Fight! Housing is a human right!", the news agency says.  No arrests were made.

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Reuters puts the number of protesters at 150, and says they included members of "Occupy Chicago" and the local Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction group. They were demanding a one-year moratorium on local home evictions and foreclosures.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Sun Times reports that 17 busloads of protesters from across the country are due to arrive in the city by Thursday morning.   They include members of the "Occupy Wall Street" and "99 Percent Solidarity" movements and representatives from National Nurses United.  The newspaper says "unemployed construction workers, dumpster-diving former cycle messengers, paramedics, and a tech millionaire who helped lead the 1989 student protests in Tiananmen Square" will also join marches over the weekend.

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"So there are clearly going to be a lot of protests, not all involving NATO or even war," a Chicago Mag columnist writes, adding: "So far we've got an early anti-war protest on Monday (eight arrests); an immigration protest yesterday (four arrests); an "FTP" protest (hint: it doesn't stand for "file transfer protocol"); and a foreclosure-moratorium protest."

NBC Chicago says that city's police department were prepared to deal with the ten to fifteen-thousand protestors expected in the city, quoting the Police Supt. Garry McCarthy as saying: "The rest of the city is going to go on. We’ve got it covered."