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Take Me Next!': Police Arrest 130 Occupy Chicago Protesters


"Everyone's been calling Rahm..."

Police arrested 130 Occupy Chicago protesters early Sunday morning when the protesters refused to clear out Grant Park after closing time for the second weekend in a row.

No violent incidents were reported. Occupy Chicago spokesman Joshua Kaunert told the Associated Press the group has not been deterred and protests would continue in the city. Police estimated crowds topped 3,000 during the demonstration's peak Saturday.

"We're not going anywhere. There are still plenty of us," Kaunert said after the arrests, which took police more than an hour to complete.

Police in Grant Park -- the same park President Barack Obama gave his victory speech the night of the 2008 election -- began warning protesters around 11 p.m. that they would be arrested if they stayed past the park's closing.

By midnight, more than 100 demonstrators remained and police began taking them into custody just before 1 a.m., according to the Chicago Tribune.

Those arrested were taken in groups to police vans and sheriff's department buses as others begged to be arrested.

"Take me next! Take me next!" some shouted as police began the arrests. Others chanted as they were led away: "We'll be back!"

Police arrested 175 protesters last week under similar circumstances.

Because demonstrators don't have permits to stay in the park overnight, some said they've been trying to appeal to Chicago mayor and former White House chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel to set up a permanent base to accommodate their growing numbers.

"Everyone's been calling Rahm and everything and saying, 'Hey, we want somewhere to set up camp.' Why not? Give us something. Give us Grant Park. Give us something," protester Dylan Bellisle told Chicago's WLS-TV.

Occupy Chicago has already called for the city to drop any charges against those arrested because they believe the arrests violate their Constitutional rights.

"The 1st Amendment guarantees the American people the right to peaceably assemble," the group said in a statement. "Today we are going to use that right. Occupy Chicago calls on all local citizens to stand up and join us in this struggle."

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