Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Thousands vow to 'Take Back Chicago'

The headline in this morning Tribune summed things up pretty well -- Emanuel talks politics while activists rally to 'take back Chicago'. (M. Klonsky pic)
All that was missing last night, was a mayoral candidate to rally around as thousands filled the UIC Forum, vowing to Take Back Chicago. The activist base, mobilized by the Grassroots Coalition of unions and community groups, was there and the issues were clear. The crowd was loud and militant, cheering favored elected officials like those from the City Council's Progressive Caucus, while others, like Gov. Quinn didn't fare as well. He showed up late and was met with chants of "pensions, pensions" while hundreds were on their way out of the Forum. Earlier, organization leaders had shared the stage with elected officials, each put on the spot as roll was called on the issues of that mattered.

Kristel Kolmeder, "Corporations should pay their fair share" (ENLACE)
According to the Trib, Mayor 1% was across town talking to a much smaller, but richer crowd, who paid to hear him, "at an event sponsored by a private equity firm that boasts of having invested billions of dollars."
The two events offered a clear study in contrasts in Chicago politics: like-minded folks meeting in a controlled setting to see a self-styled reform mayor engage in political repartee versus a raucous gathering of activists promoting a populist, anti-administration agenda. It also offered a potential early blueprint of the opposition platform to the mayor in 2015, assuming a contender emerges to take on a highly skilled politician who had $5.1 million in his campaign fund to start October.
Couldn't have said it better.
 Brandon Johnson, an organizer with the Chicago Teachers Union, fired up the rally crowd at the University of Illinois at Chicago Forum, saying the 35 union and neighborhood groups were there to send a message to "the mayor of this city and his corporate, greedy elitist friends that this city belongs to the people in this room. Black people, brown people, poor people, working-class people."

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