12.1 The Occupation Gets Results: Victories in Springfield, at UIC Highlight Growth of State-Wide Movement

The Occupation Gets Results: Victories in Springfield, at UIC Highlight Growth of State-Wide Movement

Illinois House defeats corporate tax cuts; “Mayor 1%” cancels UIC speech

Chicago 12/01 – Occupy Chicago and the Illinois Occupy movement are celebrating two victories today. In Springfield yesterday, SB 397 (formally SB 405), which would have granted huge tax credits to CME and Sears, was rejected by the Illinois House by a resounding 8 votes for and 99 votes against. Locally, “Mayor 1%” Emanuel canceled a speech at UIC after the campus Occupation announced plans to confront him for his decisions to cut funding for schools and public services.

SB 397 grants millions in corporate tax credits to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Sears, along with a small measure of tax relief for Illinois families. CME and Sears have both threatened to leave the state if they do not receive these credits. On the floor of the Illinois House, Rep. Monique Davis (D) of Chicago said, “These mammoth companies, they want $150 million as a gift from the state of Illinois, that’s taxpayer money.” According to the Illinois Policy Institute, the controversial bill includes tax credits which amount to only $7.50 a year for the average family.

Occupy Chicago, Occupy Springfield, Make Wall Street Pay Illinois, SEIU, Citizen-Action Illinois, and other groups coordinated a call-in campaign to elected officials and Governor Quinn, asking them to vote down the request for more corporate tax breaks. Legislators reported receiving numerous calls opposing the bill.  “It’s important that we acknowledge the 99%,” said Sen. Kwame Raoul (D), Chicago.

“Our movement is growing exponentially,” says Joshua Kaunert, a participant in Occupy Chicago. “Occupy Chicago, neighborhood, campus, and suburban Occupations, and other Occupations state-wide are fighting together to remove corporate influence and big money from politics. Our victories will speak for themselves as we become more coordinated at the local and national level.”

This Friday, “Mayor 1%” Emanuel was scheduled to speak at UIC as part of the “Future of Chicago” lecture series. After Occupy UIC announced they would attend the event in order to confront the Mayor about his support for corporate interests at the expense of Illinois taxpayers, Emanuel canceled, citing “schedule changes”. Former IBM executive and current City Chief of Technology, John Tolva, will speak in his place.

“”Mayor 1%” is running scared, he’s afraid to face taxpayers after pushing to give our hard earned dollars to his buddies in the corporate world,” says Rachael Perrotta, a member of the Occupy Chicago Press Committee. “Corrupt politicians can run, but they can’t hide from the People’s Mic. They can expect their public appearances to be Occupied until they start serving the interests of the people.”

Occupy UIC Face Book Event: http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/204690382939807/

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