Hundreds of demonstrators protesting cuts to the federal housing budget shut down traffic at Clark and Randolph during the busy Friday night rush hour after several people formed a human chain across Clark.
Some 300 people gathered at the James R. Thompson Center plaza at 5 p.m. for the protest. About 10 minutes into the rally, about two-dozen protestors — including four in wheelchairs — linked arms across Clark near Randolph, stopping traffic. They set up cardboard boxes in the street that said, “Tea Party Housing Development.’’
Chicago Police Officers tried to convince the protestors to leave the street on their own accord, but most refused.
After about 10 minutes police vans pulled up and the protestors blocking the street were removed one by one and arrested. They were largely cooperative as they were escorted into the police vans. “I believe that getting arrested is a very small price to pay considering the costs to millions of Americans if these cuts go through,’’ said Hollie Trauger, 22, of Chicago. Trauger ultimately was not arrested.
According to police, a total of 11 people received citations for failure to obey an order to disperse.
While none of the disabled protestors were arrested, one officer took over the controls of a female protestor’s wheelchair to guide her to the sidewalk.