Blog post from IIRON :
1,500 people turned out IIRON’s Occupy the Dream public meeting, celebrating the legacy the Martin Luther King, Jr. by holding elected officials at the state and national level accountable to move to a progressive agenda protecting the interest of the 99%. Leaders also announced an week of action targeting banks that accepted tax payer financed bail-out funds, yet refuse to provide relief to homeowners in foreclosure.
“Our Democracy is being high jacked by the wealthy elite, large banks, and corporations who now control elections,” said Reverend Dwight Gardner, a pastor from Dr. King’s own Progressive Baptist denomination and keynote speaker. “Inequality in this nation, the gap between the haves and the have nots, continues to grow. And only a few, that 1% so aptly named by the Occupy Movement, are benefiting at the expanse of the rest of us. This is not acceptable.”
Congressional representatives Jan Schakowsky (IL. 10), Jesse Jackson Jr. (IL. 2) and Peter Visclosky (IN 1) attended and committed to federal infrastructure and jobs legislation. Schakowsky and Jackson also committed to a millionaire’s tax and a financial speculation tax.
State Senator Heather Steans and State Representatives Robyn Gabel and Kelly Cassidy pledged to fight any attempt to roll back corporate taxes in Illinois and to work for a more progressive tax system.
Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-14) said, “The number of people who turned out today to pledge to work for change gives me great hope that we can finally create a progressive tax system progressive tax system and raise the revenue to provides services to the people of the state of Illinois.”
On Monday, Jan 16, people of faith will protest the epidemic level of foreclosures and astronomical student debt at the Federal Reserve Bank.
Northside P.O.W.E.R. will march to Bank of America on Tuesday, January 17 at 3:30 p.m. to demand that Bank of America stop foreclosure proceedings on an Evanston resident and write down her mortgage to fair market value. Afterwards, they will march to Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office to demand the withdrawal of Illinois from the 50 state robo-signing settlement, which would let banks of the hook for the full extent of the economic damage caused illegal foreclosures.
On Wednesday, Jan 18 , at 9:30 am the Northwest Indiana Federation will occupy the Gary Board of Works & Safety.
On Thursday, Liberate the Southside will occupy a vacant, foreclosed home that they have repaired. The will turn the home over to a homeless family.
Occupy the Dream was sponsored by IIRON and its member organizations: Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL), Northside P.O.W.E.R., the Northwest Indiana Federation and the IIRON Student Network. Occupy the Dream is also endorsed by Make Wall Street Pay Illinois and Occupy Chicago.