Illinois Capitol Occupied

A rally in support of the Wall Street Occupiers happened today in Springfield at the Illinois Capitol Building. Over 300 people came for the peaceful protest.

After a reading of a statement from the Occupy Wall Street protestors, the group walked by several downtown banks, including Chase, and came back to the Capitol.

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Following the stroll through downtown, there was time for anyone who wished to address the crowd. An AFSCME representative announced that their convention in Springfield today voted to support the Occupy protests.

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One person brought their guitar for a short sing-a-long. About a dozen people took their turn at the microphone expressing a diversity of viewpoints.

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There were plenty of Democrats but my impression is that a majority of the crowd were made of people disaffected from the two major parties and disgusted with electoral politics in general. Ron Paul Libertarians, union members, and the Radical Student Union were all well represented.

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Everything went smoothly. The police were helpful and professional. Oddly, one person was asked by the police to either leave or remove his Guy Fawkes mask. He left.

I saw no sign of counter-protesters. A local conservative radio host spent all week telling people to counter-protest and even made a threatening comment on his discussion board. Apparently, his listeners chickened out (assuming he has any listeners).

It was a very positive event and I think everyone left with a desire to follow up. The next event is a national “Occupy your State Capital” day October 29. Expect it to be even bigger and better!