After walking along Wall Street in Chicago this week, I couldn’t help but notice that the Occupying crowd has waned. Could it be the weather or that the traction here is just not as loud and attention grabbing as it is in other cities?
I recalle a few months back, when the movement initially started that there were 60 plus individuals picketing on the otherwise empty corners of LaSalle & Jackson. It was active. They were engaged and the corner was populated with protestors. As of my most recent shortcut through the area during a weekday afternoon, I only noticed 10 people, a clear reduction in numbers from a few months ago.
I wondered if it was the fact that Occupiers in Chicago never had an opportunity to set up camp, thus circumventing the issues that Boston, Philly a few colleges campuses & NYC have had regarding overnight protestors with the ability to actually occupy a public space for 24 hours? I’m not sure of a permit (the doc now required to even own a dog in this City) will be approved at some point, but I’m sure it would help considering the imminent winter freeze.
Or maybe it was our mayor’s plan to provide as little attention as possible to the protesters by never wavering with regards to their needs? If they never have anything or any rights, outside of a corner that they are required to continually move on, they really have no ability to remind Chicagoan's that they are still involved and a part of the national movement. A physical presence is really key in this city and I'm sure in other cities.
Regardless of what will happen with the occupiers, (I recently read in the NYT, that the Boston protest may move toward occupying foreclosed homes), I hope that Occupy Chicago continues on. We are a first class city, or second to none...
Although I am not fully in support of the movement, I would hate for the Chicago location to be the student in the back row! This is Chicago. Surely we can do a little better than that.
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