Occupy Chicago meets in Rogers Park

After repeatedly running into neighbors and friends at the Occupy Chicago protest, a group of Rogers Park occupiers decided to bring their message to the area.

A group of 50 occupiers rallied in front of The Glenwood Bar right off the Morse Red Line stop on Saturday. After, they rode the Red Line  towards the Loop to join Occupy Chicago.

According to organizers, this was the first of weekly general assemblies that will meet in Rogers Park on Heartland Cafe‘s patio on Sundays at 3 p.m.

One organizer, Jim Ginderske, told Chicago Now:

Working class neighborhoods like [Rogers Park] are massively affected by the current economic circumstances, and many folks are more comfortable learning about Occupy in the community than by venturing downtown for the first time alone. We brought those factors together around public transportation because of the key role the Red Line plays in our neighborhood.

We held a mini-general assembly on the train, using the human mic. Nearly everyone talked about why they came, and for many it was their first ‘occupy’ experience. People that boarded while this was happening stayed in the car with us and several nodded along as people spoke. The train conductor even came on the intercom and welcomed us.

Downtown we joined about 500 other occupiers and participated in the citywide general assembly. There we discussed strategy, Movement organization, and relationships with other occupations. We also handed out specially-made ‘occu-pies’ that First Slice bakery donated at our event at The Glenwood.

Going forward, we will be hosting a weekly general assembly (GA) at 3 p.m. on Sundays in Rogers Park. Next week’s GA will be on the patio of the Heartland Cafe. This kind of neighborhood presence will be happening all over Chicago as this movement continues to grow.

The original of the story can be found on Chicago Now.

-Lauren Lapinski

Seniors occupy Chicago streets in protest of funding cuts

Nearly 50 seniors were ticketed today for blocking traffic in a busy downtown intersection in an act of civil disobedience.

More than 600 seniors and their allies gathered today in Federal Plaza, directly outside the offices of Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, in opposition of possible cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other social services for the elderly. The demonstration, organized by the Jane Addams Senior Caucus (JASC), was joined by the Occupy Chicago movement, and attracted the presence of several Illinois public officials, including Representatives Jan Schakowsky, who represents Rogers Park,  Danny Davis, and Mike Quigley, as well as Senator Durbin.

At the conclusion of a rally, a group of seniors marched toward the intersection of Jackson Avenue. and Clark Street, gathered in the middle of the street at  to protest the proposed cuts. The participants sat in a circle linking arms, effectively blocking traffic for more than 30 minutes before Chicago police dispersed the occupation and ticketed 47 individuals.

“I’m glad that I made the decision to participate,” said Emily Byrd, leader with the JASC, in a statement. “Civil Disobedience is a tool to alert Americans about what is at stake, senior’s ability to live with dignity and economic security.”

Here’s the full story from the Huffington Post:

Hundreds of senior citizens gathered in Chicago’s Federal Plaza Monday morning to let Congress know how they feel about cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The group ultimately blocked traffic at a downtown intersection — leading to 47 arrests.

Members of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus were joined by other grassroots organizations, including Occupy Chicago, in a rally outside of Sen. Mark Kirk and Sen. Dick Durbin’s office, followed by a march.

“We are fighting for our elders, for our children, and for our future,” Occupy Chicago’s Rachael Perrotta said in a statement. “Their welfare is our priority. We demand our elected leaders, like Durbin, Kirk and ‘Mayor 1%’ Emanuel, choose to serve the people, and protect the programs that ensure our futures.”

Representatives Jan Schakowsky and Danny Davis appeared at the protest, and were eventually joined by Rep. Mike Quigley and Sen. Durbin himself. The seniors want the federal budget to strengthen social programs for elderly Americans and low-income families as well as funding for housing and urban development programs.

“Many older women, especially older women of color, would suffer the brunt of these cuts,” Mary Burns, leader of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus, in a statement, according to NBC Chicago. “Senator Durbin and Senator Kirk need to hear that seniors are the members of the 99% and have something to say about this issue and these programs.”

– Nick Passarelli

Loyola cross country, golf athletes capture awards

Two senior student-athletes at Loyola University Chicago, Josh Stein and Ann Vrdolyak, had superb months in their respective sports.

Stein (Cross Country) was named to the First Team All-Horizon League team. Vrdolyak (Golf) broke her own school record for a 36-hole score.

Rambler Athletics has the story:

CHICAGO – Josh Stein (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) and Ann Vrdolyak (Flossmoor, Ill./Marian Catholic/Iowa) have been selected as Loyola University Chicago’s Athletes of the Month for October, it was announced today. The duo excelled on their respective courses during the month, turning in excellent individual performances to help their teams to success.

Stein put together some impressive races in October and finished fifth overall to earn First Team All-Horizon League accolades for the third straight season and help Loyola to a runner-up team finish at the Horizon League Cross Country Championship in Cleveland, Ohio last weekend. The Aurora, Ill., native finished with a time of 26:20 in the 8k race at the League Championship.

He also was Loyola’s top finisher at both the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational (Oct. 1), clocking in at 25:39 in the 8k to help the Ramblers to a fourth-place finish, then placing 18th out of 188 runners with a 25:21 as Loyola captured fifth place as a team at the Bradley Classic (Oct. 14).

Vrdolyak continues to shine after getting off a fast start last month. The senior finished atop the leaderboard to earn medalist honors in two of the Ramblers’ three tournaments in October. After tying for 15th place with a 165 (84-81) at the NIU Huskie Classic, Vrdolyak broke her own school record for 36-hole score with a 148 (75-73) to finish first overall and lead Loyola to the team title at the WIU Autumn Invitational, October 9-10.

She closed out the fall portion of the 2011-12 season by tying for first place with a 78 at the Chi-Town Showdown on October 22, and with a 76.7 stroke average is on pace to shatter Lucy McGovern’s school-record of 78.2 set in 2009-10.

– Chris Lehman