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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chicago's Occupation Holds On

Oct 18th, 2011
F. Grey Parker 6:15pm CST 

The Occupy Movement in Chicago continues across the street from my location. In spite of intermittent rain, dropping temperatures and a few touch and go minutes with the CPD, the protesters remain.

I had told the participants with whom I have become familiar that I would come back one more time before departing to cover the Occupation on Wall Street itself.

In spite of their fatigue, everyone I have spoken with today insists they have no intention of leaving anytime soon. Why should they? The citizens of more than 80 other countries marched in solidarity with them only a few days ago.  What's more, they are still keeping very level heads.

The tension rose briefly today when the protesters attempted to protect their information and donation center from the elements by using tarps. It seemed as if the police were only moments away from cracking down and there were threats of arrests.

For all the incessant chatter that this is a "leaderless" mob, there is a volunteer structure which prevents chaos... provided the authorities let them do so. Like all the occupy protests, the Chicago Occupation has a security committee. This group has spent days, some of them weeks, building personal rapport with the officers regularly assigned to the scene. They admirably defused the situation and provided guidance to fellow occupiers who assisted in meeting the officers demands. No one lost their cool. No one fell apart.

That's the whole point, though. Isn't it? This is civil disobedience. This is not a gang of thugs looking for confrontation at every turn.

I will be back in a week to see what has become of this part of the occupation. I cannot help but wish them the best. The following video is a raw cut of the scenes we have captured while here.

This is the Chicago occupation we saw.

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