43 Occupy protesters cited for blocking roadway

November 7, 2011 2:50:27 PM PST
Dozens of people were cited Monday during a protest by the Occupy Chicago group. Among the protesters were hundreds of seniors angry about proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

As the federal government struggles with ways to balance the budget, there are some locally who hope their voices will be heard in Washington. So, Monday, some older Chicagoans joined forces with other organizations.

It was no stroll in the park for the seniors. Some of them felt so strongly about maintaining Social Security and Medicare funding they joined Occupy Chicago at Federal Plaza.

"Their proposal reaches directly into the pockets of the 99 percent," said Katie Jordan, representing Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans.

"We are citizens too. We vote too," said Ruth Davis.

They found support from some politicians.

"Social Security has served America for over 70 years," said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. "Let's stand behind Social Security and make it strong."

"Get your hands off Social Security. Get your hands off Medicaid. Don't mess with Medicare," said U.S. Representative Danny Davis.

The protesters walked a block away in an effort to get attention for their cause.

Once at Jackson and Clark, they got even more attention. Some sat and stood in the middle of intersection. They stopped traffic in the middle of the Loop for 20 minutes--in the middle of the day.

"We want to make sure they don't cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and social services," said Judy Moses.

"People are already living on starvation amounts of money. It's not time to cut," said Tom Wilson.

The protest was a surprise to motorists.

"They're right for doing it. They're standing up for their rights, but it's the wrong time," said Felicia Gordon.

Chicago police officers ushered protesters away from the intersection and issued 43 citations for blocking the intersection.

Protestors say they were willing to be arrested, although it didn't come to that, and they got the attention they had hoped for.

"It's hard for all seniors, all of us. With cuts, we're just not going to be able to make it," said Marie Gasaway.

Those issued tickets could face up to a $200 fine. They are administrative tickets and will have a court date to address those tickets.

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