More than 100 arrested in Grant Park

October 24, 2011 4:09:10 AM PDT
Occupy Chicago protesters spent time behind bars for the second Sunday in a row. About 130 demonstrators were arrested overnight when they refused to leave Grant Park after the park closed.

Dozens of the protesters headed to the 1st Police District at 18th and State Sunday night. They joined others who camped out all day waiting for the 130 protesters who were arrested Saturday night at Grant Park to be released from police custody. Arrestees trickled out slowly all day and into the night.

"Instead of dealing with calls on assaults, on robberies, on rape, on homicide, so many, hundreds of officers were requisitioned down to deal with a bunch of people holding hands and singing in a public park," said Ashley Bohrer, Occupy Chicago.

"The fact that they need to through obscure park ordinance laws and arrest people and detain them for 15 hours on an ordinance, which is lower than a misdemeanor, I think speaks volumes about how this administration feels about this movement," said Joe Hirsch, arrested protester.

But the city says it is not an obscure ordinance. Public parks, playgrounds and bathing beaches are closed between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. On Saturday night, police say they warned the protesters several times before arresting them 90 minutes after Grant Park closed.

Occupy Chicago demonstrators say why enforce it.

"Giving protesters a place, a reasonable amount of space to protest from is a fair request," said Charles Perry, 26, Occupy Chicago demonstrator.

On Sunday night, Police supt. Garry McCarthy didn't want to talk about it as he walked into a private event. While he was silent, Occupy Chicago says the arrests will only make their movement louder.

Looking more like a Wall Street banker than a protester, Perry decided to quit watching the Bears game Sunday afternoon and join the movement.

"I watched the first half and then got off my butt to make a difference," he said.

Perry joined dozens of others who have been demonstrating since September 23rd in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The activists say they need a larger space, which is why they say Grant Park if a good place.

While arrestees are still in the process of being released from police custody, two will remain in jail until they go before a judge. That's because they were arrested for a second time which means they violated bail bond.


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