It’s currently 9:54 p.m. as I’m writing this. It’s October 15, a day we have all decided to be a day for global solidarity for the Occupy Movement and Occupy Wall Street. I’m sitting in a tent among at least thirty other people. This is our moment for Occupy Chicago; we are holding our ground, ready to commit civil disobedience, if that’s where the police will take it. They say around 11 p.m., the police will start arresting us, because at that point we will be in violation of a city ordinance. The other word, the hopeful one, is that if we follow noise ordinances, we will be allowed to stay.
I have to say personally, as ready as I am to be arrested, I would like even more for us to finally have a home base to gather and recuperate. A friend I have made at the occupation, who has said in the past he has been homeless since he was 7 or 8, was taken to the hospital for exhaustion, dehydration, and sleep deprivation. He had just collapsed and had to be taken to the emergency room for a bill he cannot pay. When he told me this story, it was at the occupation, hours after the incident. It is so good that we can have a place for people like him and myself to stay and sleep and continually occupy. And it is so good that we will finally be formally occupying.
Earlier today we marched from La Salle and Jackson, the location of the Federal Bank of Chicago and the Chicago Board of Trade, our numbers were in the thousands. Seeing those numbers as we walked up the steps by the statue at Congress and Michigan almost brought me to tears. This is the moment for Chicago to gain the backing we so badly need for a real, strong presence and ultimately, change. The people will be heard one way or another.