Roughly 150 protesters with Occupy Chicago stormed City Hall Wednesday demanding to assert their “First Amendment rights” with Mayor Rahm Emanuel…but to no avail.
The brash Emanuel — who once sent a “Sicilian message” in the form of a putrid, decomposed fish to a pollster who irritated him; threatened former British Prime Minister Tony Blair not to “f–ck this up;” and knifed a dinner table in concert with rattling off names of sworn enemies — must have stowed away his confrontational side for the day.
The Windy City mayor did not emerge to meet the protesters even once during their one-hour-long demonstration. Instead, the jilted activists resorted to handing their petitions — ones demanding they be allowed to occupy Grant Park — to an Emanuel aide.
In addition to setting up permanent residence in Grant Park, the petitions, bearing 13,000 signatures, also demanded Police Supt. Garry McCarthy stop threatening the group with additional arrests and that Emanuel ensure the occupiers’ safety. The group cited Chicago’s “worldwide reputation for police brutality,” as their impetus.
Needless to say, the protesters were none too pleased with the mayor once affectionately dubbed “Rahmbo.”
“Dissent is patriotic,” said protester Micah Philbrook. “Mayor Emanuel has proven himself to be aligned with corporate interest and is trying to limit the voices of those who criticize this corrupt system.”
“They can say, ‘No, we don’t want to reinforce Chicago’s worldwide reputation for police brutality,’ ” said Andy Thayer. “It’s on Mayor Emanuel’s doorstep. He’s got time to change course, but it’s up to him.”
The protesters, who said their march was inspired by two weekends of mass-arrests, said they would return to City Hall and knock on Emanuel’s door again in two weeks time if he does not meet their demands.
In the interim, the activists advised anyone wishing to address the issues raised in their petitions to do so only at one of Occupy’s general assembly meetings.
They were joined by groups who plan to protest during next spring’s NATO/G8 summit in Chicago.
ABC provides footage and the full report: