/ 23 October 2011

130 Occupy Chicago protesters arrested

130 Occupy Chicago Protesters Arrested

Chicago police arrested about 130 protesters on Sunday as they tried to camp out in the city’s Grant Park in solidarity with the anti-corporate Occupy Wall Street movement.

The arrests came a week after about 175 members of Occupy Chicago were arrested for a similar act of civil disobedience.

About 1 500 protesters were gathered at the park when police warned them they would have to leave or be arrested for violating a city ordinance that closes parks to the public at 11pm, Chicago police officer Robert Perez said.

Most eventually left but a core group decided to stay.

“There were no major problems. The majority of the protesters that were arrested complied,” he told Agence France-Presse.

Some of the protesters refused to walk out of the park and were carried out by police but “nothing heavy duty where we had to manhandle them,” Perez said.

The protests are good training for Chicago police who are bracing for much larger — and potentially violent — protests in May when President Barack Obama’s adopted home town hosts summits of G8 leaders and Nato.

Occupy Wall Street was launched on September 17 in New York where supporters camped out at a plaza in Manhattan’s financial district to decry corporate greed and the growing rich-poor divide.

It soon spread across the United States and then the globe, with riot police breaking up a similar protest in Sydney earlier Sunday. — AFP