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Activists Bring Wall St. Demonstration to Willis Tower

By Chris Bentley in News on Sep 23, 2011 9:05PM

Why should New York have all the fun? In solidarity with the coalition of activist groups staging an ongoing "occupation" of Wall St., a smaller crowd of Chicagoans gathered at Willis Tower this morning to demonstrate for a litany of causes, from wealth inequality to political corruption.

Occupy Chicago, as the event is calling itself, began this morning at 9 a.m. when roughly 20 soggy protestors met at Willis Tower. The group marched to the Federal Reserve Bank at noon, where they will stay until tonight.

Some said they were planning to camp on the streets or in city parks. Others said they would return home after tonight’s candlelight vigil for Troy Davis, the Georgia inmate executed Wednesday amid mounting public doubt of his guilt.

Add capital punishment to the list of generally left-leaning causes championed by Occupy Chicago’s determined, if somewhat ragtag bunch. The group’s flyers and website literature identify corporate greed and government favoritism for “the ‘elite’ one percent” as the central targets of their demonstration.

Charlie, who did not give her last name, said the group would demonstrate along with those in New York, “until we all agree that they [the government] have finally listened to us.”

“Any Federal Reserve city should be having protests as well,” said Andrew Smith, one of the demonstrators. “There’s something not right with America right now. We need to get the focus back on the people,” Smith said.

A few police officers observed the demonstrators at Willis Tower, but did not interrupt as members of the group marched with signs and beat a hand drum through the morning rain.