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Seniors Block Street to Protest Essential Social Program Funding Cuts
Over 40 Cited and Released
Chicago 11/7/11 -- This morning, nearly 1,500 members of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus (JASC), their supporters, and Occupy Chicago rallied downtown to protest proposed cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and HUD programs. Following a rally outside the office of Sens. Mark Kirk (D) and Dick Durbin (D), the group proceeded to Federal Plaza, where over forty senior participants linked arms to block an intersection. They were held at the scene by the Chicago Police Department, threatened with arrest and subsequently cited for blocking traffic.
As they blocked the intersection, the seniors chanted, "The people, united, will never be defeated." Four people in assisted mobility devices were cited, and at least one participant was 100 years in age.
Said Karen Bocker, an Occupy Chicago participant and grandmother of four, “At every level of society, Americans are under attack. When the economy tanks, social programs are cut, not corporate tax breaks. We are under attack, and frankly, I’m tired of it. The very people who are hurt most from cuts to social services – services that our tax money are supposed to guarantee – are those who can least afford it.”
Senator Dick Durbin joined the morning rally, and also present were Representatives Jan Schakowsky, Danny Davis, and Mike Quigley. All of the elected officials pledged to a values statement, saying they would oppose cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and HUD, and that they would push Mark Kirk to do the same.